Evaluation of the New BBL™ CultureSwab Plus™ Transport Device (Becton Dickinson, Baltimore, MD) for Recovery of Anaerobes.
BBL™ CultureSwab Plus™ (BCSP), a new transport device for anaerobic bacteria, was evaluated at room temperature for its ability to maintain the viability of 6 anaerobic ATCC reference strains (species of Bacteroides, Clostridium, Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, and Porphyromonas) and 10 clinical anaerobic isolates (species of Bacteroides, Clostridium, Eubacterium, Fusobacterium, Peptostreptococcus, Prevotella, and Veillonella). Three other commonly used anaerobic transport systems, the Culturette and Port-A-Cul (Becton Dickinson) and the Starswab II (Starplex Scientific), were also evaluated simultaneously. After the 16 anaerobes were placed in the 4 transport systems, bacterial viability in each transport tube was determined at 0, 4, 24 and 48 hours. The BCSP had the highest recovery rates for the greatest number of species at various time intervals. Both the BCSP and Port-A-Cul had similar (within 1 log10) averaged colony counts for 14 of the 16 total anaerobes at all time intervals (2 Clostridium spp. were excluded due to enhanced growth in the Port-A-Cul). Compared to the BCSP, viable counts at 48 hours were 2 logs10 lower with the Culturette and Starplex systems. Clostridium difficile and Peptostreptococcus anaerobius lost viability in all transport systems at 24 and 48 hours, respectively. Fusobacterium nucleatum lost viability in all transport systems, except the BCSP, at 24 and 48 hours. Our findings suggest that the BCSP is an excellent alternative to the Port-A-Cul and other commonly used anaerobic transport systems for commonly encountered anaerobes isolated from clinical specimens.
Swab transport devices containing various types of clinical materials are commonly received in clinical microbiology laboratories. Although swab specimens are less desirable than aspirates collected by needle and syringe or tissue biopsies for anaerobic culture (1, 7), the fact remains that commercially available swab transport devices are used widely in healthcare facilities for this purpose. Some of these systems have been available for many years and have been evaluated with varying results (2-6, 8, 9). The object of this study was to evaluate a new transport system, the BBL™ CultureSwab Plus™ (Becton Dickinson, Baltimore, MD), for its ability to maintain viability of a wide variety of anaerobic bacteria at 0, 4, 24 and 48 hours. In addition, three other anaerobic transport systems, the Culturette and Port-A-Cul (Becton Dickinson) and the Starswab II (Starplex Scientific), were evaluated simultaneously for comparison.
- New BBL™ CultureSwab Plus™ Transport Device (BCSP; Becton
Dickinson, Baltimore, MD)
- BD, Port-A-Cul catalog number 4321607 (Becton Dickinson,
- BD, Culturette (Modified Stuart’s) for aerobes and anaerobes catalog
number 4360210 (Becton Dickinson, Baltimore, MD)
- Starplex Starswab II (Modified Amies clear) catalog number SP130X
(Starplex Scientific, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada)