Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Nasopharyngeal culture

Definition

Nasopharyngeal culture is a sample of secretions from the uppermost part of the throat, behind the nose, to detect organisms that can cause disease.

Alternative Names

Culture - nasopharyngeal; Swab for respiratory viruses; Swab for Staph carriage

How the test is performed

You will be asked to cough before the test begins and then tilt your head back. A sterile cotton-tipped swab is gently passed through the nostril and into the nasopharynx, the part of the pharynx that covers the roof of the mouth. The swab is quickly rotated and then removed.

How to prepare for the test

There is no special preparation necessary.

How the test will feel

You may experience slight discomfort and may gag.

Why the test is performed

The test identifies viruses and bacteria that cause upper respiratory tract symptoms. Nasopharyngeal cultures are useful in identifying respiratory viruses, and bacteria such as:

  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Staphylococcus aureus

The culture may be used to help determine which antibiotic therapy is appropriate.

Normal Values

The presence of organisms commonly found in the nasopharynx is normal.

What abnormal results mean

The presence of any disease-causing virus, bacteria, or fungus means these organisms may be involved in your infection.

What the risks are

There are no risks.

Special considerations

References

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

      Review Date: 10/15/2009

      Review By: Daniel Levy, MD, Infectious Disease, Maryland Family Care, Lutherville, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

      www.adam.com
      www.mercyweb.org
      follow us online
      facebook youtube


      Contact us
      Home  |  Sitemap

      Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
      Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011