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As the Demand for a Simplified Multipurpose Specimen Collection Device Grows, More Labs are Validating ESwab™ for use with Molecular Assays

September 3, 2015

A recent study conducted at Tampa General Hospital in Florida, and published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, tested the use of ESwab™ with the BD Max MRSAXT and BD Max StaphSR assays. The study, consisting of 255 samples collected using ESwab™ showed that the assays have exceptional sensitivity and specificity for detecting MRSA and S. aureus, respectively.

While the use of ESwab™ is currently outside the claims in the BD Max package insert, Tampa General Hospital has previously validated the use of ESwab™ in another JCM study “Comparison of ESwab with Traditional Swabs for Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Using Two Different Walk-

Away Commercial Real-Time PCR Methods,” where Silbert et al. evaluated ESwab™ as a nasal specimen collection device to be used for

MRSA detection by the BD Max MRSA and Cepheid GeneXpert assays, and concluded that ESwab™ proved to be a suitable collection system for both tests.

ESwab™ stands for elution swab and consists of 1mL of liquid Amies and a COPAN FLOQSwab™ flocked swab. COPAN is the inventor of flocked swabs which release a much higher volume of sample into the transport media, than traditional fiber wound swabs. A sample collected using ESwab™ yields 1mL liquid sample suspension which can be aliquoted up to 10 times and used for traditional culture, Gram slide preparation, and with self-validation for rapid antigen and molecular assays.

The big advantage of ESwab™ is its suitability to work for aerobes, anaerobes and fastidious bacteria routine cultures, as well as for molecular assays, such as the ones performed on the BD Max platform. The more tests on which we can use ESwab™, the more we simplify collection and testing for both, patient care

and laboratory.” Dr. Suzane Silbert stated. “In the case of our recent study, ESwab™ allowed us to test the BD Max MRSAXT and BD Max StaphSR, as well as direct and enrichment culture, all with only one patient collected swab,” Silbert concluded.

We are seeing a huge shift from traditional culture swabs to ESwab™. Labs want to simplify and streamline their collection devices, in the interest simplicity, lower cost and ease of use. In order to fully maximize ESwab™, more labs are qualifying the system for use with molecular assays,” stated Norman Sharples, CEO of COPAN Diagnostics, Inc.

COPAN provides many resources for change management and to assist with validation of ESwab™. For more information about ESwab™ or to obtain a copy of the study mentioned here visit

About COPAN Group

With a reputation for innovation, Copan is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. Copan’s collaborative approach to preanalytics has resulted in Flocked Swabs, ESwab, Universal Transport Medium and laboratory automation, WASP® and WASPLab. Copan carries a range of microbial sampling products, inoculation loops, and pipettes. For more information, visit