Lab, Medical

Covid-19 pandemic and detection of respiratory infections: What are Nasopharyngeal Swabs?

Nasopharyngeal Swabs

Nasopharyngeal Swabs are the kits used to detect respiratory infections. (H, S, J, & Chernesky, 2021) This method recently came under the limelight because of the prevalent pandemic. It is a common myth that these swabs are only used to detect the novel Coronavirus. In this article, we will understand in detail about the nasopharyngeal swabs

How to perform a Nasopharyngeal Swab

Nasopharyngeal Swabs are a little tricky because it exposes the health care professionals at direct risk of contracting germs and viruses. To do it the right way, professionals must wear protective gear and personal protection kits to ensure that they do not catch harmful diseases while conducting the test. 

The kit must definitely have an N95 mask to ensure that even the smallest particles do not penetrate and affect the HCP. Once all the necessary protection measures are in place, the procedure starts. It is really simple. The aim is to collect the nose culture of the patient. 

The patient is made to sit in an upright position. The right position is crucial for the smooth conduction of the test. The correct position makes it easy to access the nasal area to collect the sample. 

The swab is put up in the nose, and then it is aimed parallel to the septum floor and the nasal floor. The professional proceeds to put the swab up until slight resistance is felt. That’s the point when the swab reaches the nasopharynx. That’s the point where the swab is rotated to collect the culture. 

Once the sample is collected, the swab is put in the tube containing media culture. The swab is snapped, and the important part is stored in the vial. That’s the standard procedure to use the Nasopharyngeal Swab.

Types of Respiratory diseases

It is a common belief that Nasopharyngeal Swabs are only used to detect viruses such as the Covid-19. However, there are several types of respiratory diseases, and Nasopharyngeal Swabs are used to detect them. 

There are several types of infection that can infect the respiratory systems of someone:

Bacterial infections

Not all respiratory infections are viral. Bacteria can cause several respiratory diseases. 

Fungal Infections

Fungi- another type of microbes that can affect a healthy respiratory system and cause damage.

Viral Infections

Viruses can also have a severe impact on the normal functioning of the respiratory system. Covid-19 isn’t the only virus. There many are others, some of which are influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza viruses.

All these types of viruses can be detected by Nasopharyngeal Swabs.

Eliminating the risk of false negatives

At times, the results of the test can come as negatives when in reality, the person may actually have the disease. The false negatives come up due to several reasons. The first and foremost is the use of substandard Nasopharyngeal Swabs. Using incompetent kits can give you bad results and can put the patients’ life at threat.

Other than the kits, improper conduction of the test may also result in a false negative. This usually happens when the health care professional does not take the sample properly. At times, the swab doesn’t reach the septum floor, which prevents the collection of actual samples. 

It is necessary for HCPs to have the right training before performing the tests.

Final Words

Diagnosing the disease is important to treat and cure the person and take necessary measures. Respiratory diseases are a serious matter and should not be taken lightly at any cost. If you are a health care facility or a lab that needs excellent Nasopharyngeal Swabs, then contact MBP.

We provide the best equipment and apparatuses, and molecular biology products. Our products are of premium quality, and we are a preferred choice of many international labs and healthcare facilities. 

H, F., S, C., J, M., & Chernesky, M. (2021). Nasopharyngeal swabs and nasopharyngeal aspirates equally effective for the diagnosis of viral respiratory disease in hospitalized children. Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

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