- Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab (Preferred) - Collect using flocked or polyester-tipped NP swabs with plastic or wire shaft. Place swab immediately into sterile tube containing 1.5-3 mL of Remel Multi-Microbe Medium (M4 or M4RT).
- Nasal swab - Collect using flocked or polyester-tipped nasal swabs with plastic shaft. Insert swab 1-2 cm into one of the anterior nares. Rotate swab against nasal mucosa for 3 seconds. Repeat in the other anterior nare using the same swab. Place swab immediately into sterile tube containing 1.5-3 mL of Remel Multi-Microbe Medium (M4 or M4RT).
- Nasal wash/aspirate - Perform procedure with sterile saline. Collect 2-3 mL into a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap collection cup or sterile dry container.
Other Acceptable Transport Medium: Copan Universal Transport Medium (UTM-RT), BD Universal Viral Transport, Cepheid Xpert Viral Transport Medium, V-C-M Universal Transport Medium, Sterile Saline (0.9%), and Phosphate Buffered Saline.
The CDC recommends collecting only the NP swab. OP swabs are NOT an acceptable specimen type.
See Respiratory Viral Collection Guidelines