The Diphtheria Culture test is used to detect the presence of the bacteria called Corynebacterium diphtheria .. This test is used when a disease called diphtheria is suspected. Diphtheria is a serious, frequently fatal, bacterial infection that affects the respiratory tract. These bacteria may be found in the throat, nose, and skin. Clinical specimens for culture are taken from the nose or nasopharynx, and throat from all persons with suspected cases and their close contacts. Swabs are also taken from beneath the membrane, or a piece of the membrane is removed. Specimens for culture are obtained as soon as diphtheria is suspected.
Patients should make sure that they do not use any antiseptic mouthwash before undergoing the test. Patients need to inform the doctor if he/she is under any antibiotic as this could affect the tests sometime. The patient should not gargle immediately before the throat culture. The patient’s immunization history is also checked before the process starts.
This test enables the doctors to determine the possibility of the presence of the bacteria C diphtheriae which causes diphtheria When diphtheria bacilli are isolated they are tested for the presence of the toxin producing gene. The toxigenicity tests of C diphtheriae is further performed determined by a variety of in vitro and in vivo tests.
The patient is asked to tilt his or her head back and open his or her mouth. The physician will press the tongue down with a tongue depressor and examine the mouth and throat. The physician wipes the back of the throat and the tonsils with the sterile swab, applying it to any area that appears either very red or is discharging pus. The swab will collect a sample of the secretions being produced and it is removed gently without touching the teeth, gums, or tongue While taking specimens from the nose, the physician will use a special kind of swab and insert it into one of the patient’s nostrils. The swab will be rotated gently. The patient will be asked to remain still for a few seconds before the swab is removed. This allows the swab to collect a large enough sample to be tested. This process is repeated in the second nostril These samples from the throat, nostrils and membrane are then sent to the laboratory for further examination.