Posted: November 15, 2017
ESwab™ is becoming quite the household name. Or in the case of our community, quite the“labhold” name.
When COPAN first launched ESwab™ in 2007, no other specimen collection and transport system existed which would enable laboratories to run multiple tests from just one patient sample. Nearly a decade later, hundreds of labs and hospitals throughout the United States and Canada have switched over to COPAN’s liquid based system. In addition, multiple manufacturers, at least 10 as of today, have qualified their assays with ESwab™.
Breaking Up Is (Sometimes) Hard to Do
ESwab™, which is comprised of a nylon flocked swab and a 1mL tube containing Liquid Amies media, continues to surpass traditional collection and transport systems thanks to its unique and superior elution properties. From the beginning, COPAN selected nylon for the fibers for its FLOQSwabs™ which are sprayed or “flocked” onto the plastic shaft in a perpendicular fashion.
This flocking technology, specifically the spacing of the nylon fibers on the swab and the accompanying capillary effect, results in release of more than 90 percent of the sample. Compare that to traditional fiber swabs which are wound around an absorbent center core that traps the sample, and it makes perfect sense why FLOQSwabs™ are replacing their cotton cousins left and right.
In addition, unlike some other synthetic and natural materials, nylon doesn’t inhibit organism viability or interfere with assays.
When a laboratory or hospital decides to switch to Liquid Based Microbiology, they often face some challenges, despite the proven superiority of the system. The changeover often involves validating ESwab™ and adopting a new protocol. Just this year, more than 30 health systems in Canada and the U.S. have switched to ESwab™.
A few of the converts:
- The Italian biotech DiaSorin, which just acquired all the diagnostics assays developed by Focus Diagnostics, recently began promoting their Simplexa™ Group A Strep Direct molecular assay which is qualified for use with COPAN ESwab™.
- Last month Cepheid launched its Xpert® Xpress Strep A test which lists ESwab™ as the approved collection device. A year ago, the Sunnyvale, California-based company received FDA clearance for its Xpert® MRSA NxG which is qualified with ESwab™.
- Alere received FDA clearance for its Alere™ i Strep A test in 2015 which is qualified with ESwab™
COPAN’s universal collection and transport system is suitable for automation, Gram stains and traditional culture. In addition, assay platforms for molecular and rapid antigen tests have qualified ESwab™. It was the first liquid-based multipurpose collection and transport system that maintains the viability of aerobic, anaerobic and fastidious bacteria at both room and refrigerator temperatures for up to 48 hours.
Although the “E” in ESwab™ doesn’t stand for everything (it stands for elute), as an increasing number of health systems make the conversion, it might just become a well-earned moniker.
Want to learn more about the benefits of ESwab™ and how it can help your lab? Contact us today!