A test for upper respiratory infections is a nasopharyngeal swab. Almost all illnesses are caused by respiratory viruses that have been acquired in the community. Coughing and a runny nose are common signs of these diseases. The exam is painless and quick. Respiratory infections come in a variety of forms. A nasal swab test can help your doctor figure out what kind of infection you have and the best treatment for you. A sample of cells from your nostrils or the nasopharynx can be used in the test. The topmost section of your nose and throat is known as the nasopharynx.
Anterior nares test, nasal mid-turbinate swab, nasopharyngeal swab, nasopharyngeal culture, and NMT swab are other names for this test.
The secretions (mucus) in the back of the nose and the nasopharynx (the region of the pharynx that covers the roof of the mouth) will be swabbed by your doctor. A fast test for Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus will be performed if one is available (RSV).
The sample will be sent to a lab to be examined for viruses. Additional swabs for bacteria and fungi may be taken on occasion. Knowing which organisms are causing your symptoms, aids your doctor in prescribing the best medication for you.
Why should you undergo swab tests?
If you have symptoms like these, you may need a nasopharyngeal swab test with or without culture.
- A sudden cough has begun.
- A stuffy nose
- Symptoms of the flu, such as fevers and chills and muscle aches and pains.
These symptoms can indicate illnesses caused by various viruses and, on rare occasions, bacteria. Some therapies are only effective against specific species of bacteria.
Other than symptom relief, many viruses have no effective treatments. If you have: a nasopharyngeal swab and culture can assist you to figure out if you have:
- MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a dangerous bacterial infection that is highly difficult to treat.
- Bordetella pertussis infection (whooping cough)
- Influenza Respiratory syncytial virus
- Staphylococcus aureus colonization of the nose and throat
The procedure of taking a nasal swab:
The nasopharyngeal swab test, which can include or exclude culture, is done at your doctor’s office. During the examination:
- In your doctor’s office, you will sit with your head straight up.
- A sterile cotton-tipped swab will be inserted horizontally through your nostril to the back of your nose and gently rotated by your doctor or nurse.
- This can be done in the opposite nostril as well. A separate nose swab or a throat swab may be required if a bacterial culture is required.
After the sample collection:
You may notice that your nose feels slightly inflamed or perhaps bleeds after your test. You should be able to get back to your routine right away. If you take a rapid test, your doctor should receive your findings within an hour or within two days if you use a standard test. It’s critical to identify the source of your infection so that it needs to be appropriately treated. Treatments have various effects on different creatures. Reach out to a micro lab in Coimbatore in case you need your swab to be tested.
The following are some of the most common treatments for upper respiratory infections:
- Bacterial infections are uncommon, but antibiotics are required.
- Fungal infections are uncommon; however, they may necessitate antifungal drugs.
- Antiviral medicines may be used to treat viral infections such as influenza and RSV.
Is there any risk of doing a swab test?
The dangers of a nasopharyngeal swab test, whether with or without culture, are minimal. During the exam, you may have the feeling of vomiting. You might feel a little uneasy, but you shouldn’t be in any discomfort. Other than that, there are no severe complications of the procedure.
Results of swab sample:
You may have been tested for one or more types of infections based on your symptoms.
- A negative result indicates that your sample did not include any potentially hazardous viruses or bacteria.
- A positive result indicates that your sample included a specific type of dangerous virus or bacterium. It denotes that you have a specific infection. This could include medications and actions to prevent the virus from spreading to others. If you’ve been diagnosed with an infection, make sure to follow your doctor’s treatment instructions.