Cupids Health

How to Use Copan's Flocked Swabs (FLOQSwabs™) Eye Specimen Collection (Viral or Bacterial)

This video is intended for nurses, lab technicians and other clinical staff, and provides simple step-by-step instructions for using Copan’s flocked swabs (FLOQSwabs™) for eye specimen collection.

For bacterial specimen collection, ESwab™ should be used. For viral collection, Universal Transport Media (UTM™) should be used

Eye specimens should be accurately labeled. A specimen labeled “eye” tells very little, other than the general anatomic site. Is this from conjunctivitis? Keratitis? A sty? A surgical specimen, perhaps vitreous? Always find out the true source that culture results can be interpreted.

Ocular infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or chlamydia and can be detected by culture or nucleic acid amplification testing. Each may require a special transport medium which further indicates the need for a suspect diagnosis. Infections may involve one or both eyes so specimen and the agar plate should be marked as “R” or “L” (right or left) to differentiate. Conjunctivitis is most common eye infection. It is often helpful to collect two swabs from the conjunctiva – one for culture and one for gram stain. Bacterial cultures and viral cultures require different transport systems. Viral cultures should be submitted on ice, or using a room temperature stable viral transport media such as COPAN UTM™. Bacterial cultures should be submitted in a suitable bacteriological transport such as COPAN ESwab™.

For best results, follow steps outlined in this video and briefly summarized here:
• With the patient’s head tilted slightly back, firmly press the swab over the infected area.
• Remove the cap from the tube and insert the swab into the transport container all the way to the bottom of the tube
• Holding the tube away from your face, grasp the swab shaft above the pre-molded breakpoint and break the swab shaft at the breakpoint
• Screw the cap on tightly to prevent leakage
• Label and send specimen to testing lab following your SOP’s

Always read the manufacturer’s package insert for specific instructions regarding specimen collection and transport for the type of test kit being used.

For more information on UTM™ visit:
For more information on ESwab™ visit:

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