Pathology Handbook

Ear swab

Clinical Indications


Test Includes

Culture for bacteria and fungi; antibiotic sensitivities on potential pathogens.
The type of cultural investigations performed may vary, dependent on the clinical information received

Request Form

ICE request


On request during routine working hours

Specific Criteria

Please give detailed clinical information, including date of onset/ contact with the suspected infection, and any current, or intended, antibiotic therapy

Turnaround Time

48 hours for routine bacterial culture, up to 72 hours to identify and perform antibiotic sensitivity testing on significant organisms


Bacterial culture swab in transport medium

Ear swab small


Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled / inadequately labelled sample
Delay in sample reaching laboratory

Lab Handling

Samples should be processed as soon as possible