Ear swab



Otitis externa 

  •  Indications for testing include otitis externa and otitis media with perforation

Sample requirements

Standard charcoal transport swab


Plain wire swab


Insert swab into external auditory canal

Place swab into transport medium

Wire swabs must be returned in a tube of charcoal transport medium

Fastidious organisms will nor survive on dry swabs

Charcoal transport swab
Plain wire swab

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details:
    • otitis media
    • evidence of perforation
    • otitis externa
    • presence of grommets
  • Recent, current and intended antibiotics


Store and transport at room temperature. Samples should be transported to the laboratory with minimal delay.

Turnaround time

2 - 4 days

Page last reviewed: 10/01/2014