Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Chlamydia Culture

Test Name: Chlamydia Culture
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Microbiology (VH)
Specimen Type: Conjunctiva*
Fluids or Aspirates (epididymal, fallopian, prostatic, seminal, synovial)
Genital* (cervix, urethra) - vaginal samples are only acceptable in cases of children, sexual assault or abuse.
Respiratory (throat swabs,bronchial wash, nasopharyngeal swab*/transtrachial aspirate (newborns)
Tissue (endometrial or tubal biopsy, surgical or autopsy liver, lung or spleen)
Collection Information: Use the Virus/Chlamydia/Mycoplasma (VCM) transport media.

All swabs must be sent in VCM transport media.

Fluids should have an equal volume of VCM transport media added to them.

Tissues and biopsies must be kept moist with VCM transport media.

Refrigerate and transport to the Microbiology Lab as soon as possible.

*Conjunctiva - Remove purulent exudate if present. Moisten second swab with saline and rotate tip over conjunctival surface. Swab must be sent in VCM transport media.

Fluids - Aspirate aseptically with a needle/syringe.

*Cervix - Remove mucous. Insert swab at least 1 cm into endocervical canal and rotate 2-3 times to collect sample. Withdraw swab without touching any vaginal surfaces. Swab must be sent in VCM transport media.

*Urethral - Patient should not urinate for at least 1 hour before specimen collection. Express and discard any exudate. Insert second swab 2-4 cm into urethra, rotate gently 2-3 times and withdraw. Swab must be sent in VCM transport media.

*Rectal - Premoisten swab with saline and insert swab 3 cm into anal canal. Move swab from side to side to sample crypts. Withdraw swab. If faecal contamination occurs, discard and obtain another sample. Swab must be sent in VCM transport media.

Throat Swab - Depress tongue gently with a tongue depressor. Extend swab between the tonsillar pillars and behind the uvula. Avoid touching cheeks, tongue, uvula or lips. Sweep back and forth across the posterior pharynx, tonsillar areas and any inflamed or ulcerated area. Place swab in VCM transport media.

Bronchial Wash or Nasopharyngeal Aspirate - Collect 5 mL in a sterile container.

*Nasopharyngeal Swab - Insert flexible shaft swab through nostril into nasopharynx and rotate swab in circular manner to collect cellular material. Swab must be sent in VCM transport media.

Tissue or Biopsy Material - Should be placed in a sterile container.

*It is imperative that the epithelial layer is sampled.
Purulent discharge should be cleaned away from the site before collection.
Test Schedule: Referred weekdays to Public Health Laboratory
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
1 week
Reference Range:  
Effective Date: 2006-07-01
Revised Date: 2018-06-15
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Pediatric and Medical-legal assault cases and test of cure situations must be investigated by culture technique.

However, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) may be acceptable if positive results are confirmed by a second set of primers. If available, both tests (culture and NAAT) should be taken. Molecular diagnostic tests, especially NAATs are more sensitive than culture. Genprobe Aptima® Assay confirmatory testing is available for both Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Special Processing:  
Method of Analysis: Culture
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment: The specimen must be refrigerated.
The specimen must be received within 24 hours of collection.
System Codes: 
Referred To: Public Health Laboratory

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul