The survival of on swabs varies with the fibre used. In the case of rayon sterilised by irradiation, batch-to-batch variation also occurs, and this indicates that batch testing of fibres is essential. Survival is reduced on swabs that have been sterilised by gamma irradiation, but is relatively unaffected by heat sterilisation. With cotton-wool swabs, survival is increased by boiling the swab in phosphate buffer, by pre-treatment with serum or by saturation with phosphate buffer after sampling. The strain of the test streptococcus, the mode of application of the inoculum and the method used to prepare the inoculum all affect the experimental results.


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