Pathology Handbook

Throat swab

Clinical Indications


Test Includes

Microscopy for Vincent's organisms if requested or clinically indicated

Culture for pathogenic bacteria

Culture for Candida if requested or clinically indicated

Request Form 

Request via ICE


On request during normal 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.

If diphtheria is suspected please indicate on request form

Turnaround Time

48 hours for a negative report; 
48 - 72 hours if potential pathogens require identification and antibiotic sensitivity testing


Bacterial culture swab in transport medium


Routine swab small


Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Lab Handling

Samples should be processed as soon as possible

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled sample
Delay in sample reaching laboratory