COVID-19 Sample Collection
Specimen Collection, Transport and Preservation for Testing
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in December 2019. The disease quickly spread worldwide, resulting in the COVID-19 pandemic. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising clinicians and caregivers to test patients presenting symptoms associated with COVID-19 illness.
CDC Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Sample Collection and Transport
For diagnostic testing for current SARS-CoV-2 infections, CDC recommends collecting and testing an upper respiratory specimen. Proper specimen collection is the most important step in the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases. A specimen that is not collected correctly may lead to false or inconclusive test results.
The CDC advises to use only synthetic fiber swabs with thin plastic or wire shafts that have been designed for sampling the nasopharyngeal mucosa. Do not use calcium alginate swabs or swabs with wooden shafts, as they may contain substances that inactivate some viruses and may inhibit molecular tests. Place specimen in a sterile viral transport media tube.
This page is intended to indicate COPAN products and methods commonly used for the collection and transport of COVID -19 samples consistent with CDC guidelines.*
* The CDC indicates The type of specimen collected when testing for current or past infection with SARS-CoV-2 is based on the test being performed and its manufacturer’s instructions. Some of the specimen types listed below will not be appropriate for all tests. Refer to the CDC’s “Interim Guidelines for Collecting and Handling of Clinical Specimens for COVID-19 Testing” for the most current guidance for sample collection indications and devices for COVID-19.Visit the CDC.gov Site
Transport Medium® Collection Kits
COPAN’s collection & transport kits for viral specimens combine state-of-the-art FLOQSwab® flocked sample collection swabs with the exceptional sample preservation of UTM Universal Transport Medium®.
UTM Universal Transport Medium® is FDA cleared for collection, transport, preservation, and long-term freeze storage of clinical specimens containing viruses for viral molecular diagnostic testing
UTM® Regular Tip Swab Collection Kits
Commonly Used for Nasal, Oropharyngeal and Lesion Swab Collection
UTM® Mini Tip Swab Collection Kits
Commonly Used for Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection
UTM® Bulk Products
Mini-Tip Flocked Swabs
Swabs for Small Sites - Commonly Used for Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection
Regular Tip Flocked Swabs
Swabs for Larger Sites - Commonly Used for Nasal, Oropharyngeal and Lesion Swab Collection
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The material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always refer to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, professional healthcare organizations, or other qualified healthcare providers for current guidance.
Always read the manufacturer’s package insert for specific instructions regarding specimen collection and transport for the type of test kit being used.
Sample Collection Topics
About COPAN Diagnostics
COPAN Diagnostics is part of COPAN Group, the leading manufacturer of sample collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN is committed to continuously bringing value to the pre-analytical phase of Microbiology by providing innovative solutions inspired by the clinical microbiology community.Learn More