1887

Abstract

carriers are at higher risk of infection and are a reservoir for transmission to others. Detection of nasal carriage is important for both targeted decolonization and epidemiological studies. Self-administered nasal swabbing has been reported previously, but the effects of posting swabs prior to culture on yield have not been investigated. A longitudinal cohort study was performed in which healthy volunteers were recruited, trained in the swabbing procedure and asked to take weekly nasal swabs for 6 weeks (median: 3 weeks, range 1–6 weeks). Two swabs were taken at each sampling episode and randomly assigned for immediate processing on arrival to the laboratory (Swab A) or second class postage prior to processing (Swab B). was isolated using standard methods. A total of 95 participants were recruited, who took 944 swabs (472 pairs) over a median of 5 weeks. Of these, 459 swabs were positive for . We found no significant difference (=0.25) between 472 pairs of nasal self-swabs processed immediately or following standard postage from 95 study participants (51.4 % vs. 48.6 %, respectively). We also provide further evidence that persistent carriers can be detected by two weekly swabs with high degrees of sensitivity [92.3 % (95 % CI 74.8–98.8 %)] and specificity [95.6 % (95 % CI 84.8–99.3 %)] compared with a gold standard of five weekly swabs. Self-swabbing and postage of nasal swabs prior to processing has no effect on yield of , and could facilitate large community-based carriage studies.

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2016-12-16
2019-12-15
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