Study finds, Bacterial Pathogens Using Home Oropharyngeal Sw
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Collection of respiratory cultures for airway microbiology surveillance is an essential component of routine clinical care in cystic fibrosis (CF). Researchers initiated a protocol for at home collection of oropharyngeal (OP) swabs from children with CF.

Home respiratory specimen collection was offered during telehealth encounters. Home OP swab kits were sent to participating families via mail with instructions for collection and return. Specimens were returned by overnight shipping or dropped off at a hospital lab for processing and culture. Demographic data was evaluated and compared with culture results from the home collected specimen to the most recent specimen collected in clinic. The frequency of newly identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also tracked.

--Home OP swab kits were sent to families of 33 children with CF (range 1.5-19 yrs). OP swab kits were successfully returned from 19 children (range 1.5-19 yrs). One or more CF pathogens grew from 79% of the specimens.

--For 4 individuals, the home collected specimen demonstrated new growth of P. aeruginosa.

In conclusion, home collection of OP swabs for bacterial culture in children with CF of various ages is possible. The majority of homecollected specimens showed growth of one or more CF pathogens, and the findings were comparable to recent inclinic specimens, indicating that the sample collection technique was satisfactory. Based on the growth of P. aeruginosa from a home respiratory specimen, antipseudomonal therapy was started for 4 children.