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Impact of swab material on microbial surface sampling

Jansson, Linda LU ; Akel, Yasmine LU ; Eriksson, Ronnie ; Lavander, Moa and Hedman, Johannes LU (2020) In Journal of Microbiological Methods 176.
Abstract

Efficient microbial sampling from surfaces for subsequent detection and quantification is crucial in fields such as food safety and hygiene monitoring. Cotton swabs are traditionally used for sample collection, but today there are numerous swabs of alternative material and different sizes available. Recovery efficiencies of swabs for different applications have been compared in several studies. However, the results are often contradictory. We have compared 15 different swabs made of cotton (n = 5), flocked nylon (n = 3) and foam (n = 7), for sampling of Listeria monocytogenes and mengovirus on small (4 cm2) and large (100 cm2) areas of window glass, ridged plastic and absorbing wood. Molecular quantification... (More)

Efficient microbial sampling from surfaces for subsequent detection and quantification is crucial in fields such as food safety and hygiene monitoring. Cotton swabs are traditionally used for sample collection, but today there are numerous swabs of alternative material and different sizes available. Recovery efficiencies of swabs for different applications have been compared in several studies. However, the results are often contradictory. We have compared 15 different swabs made of cotton (n = 5), flocked nylon (n = 3) and foam (n = 7), for sampling of Listeria monocytogenes and mengovirus on small (4 cm2) and large (100 cm2) areas of window glass, ridged plastic and absorbing wood. Molecular quantification methods (qPCR and RT-qPCR) were applied, and all sampling and sample processing were standardized. Specific swabs gave higher DNA/RNA yields than others, depending on both the surface characteristics and the collected target. The highest DNA yields were achieved by applying Selefa or Puritan cotton swabs for Listeria sampling on 4 cm2 areas of window glass and ridged plastic. Certain foam swabs (Critical swab with medium head and Macrofoam) gave the highest yields when sampling Listeria on 4 cm2 areas of wood and on 100 cm2 areas of ridged plastic and wood. Most foam swabs, and especially Sigma Virocult, were advantageous for virus sampling, regardless of surface. Nylon-flocked swabs showed poor recovery regardless of surface characteristics. The recovery varied substantially between swabs made of the same material, suggesting that a single swab may not be representative for a certain swab material.

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organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Journal of Microbiological Methods
volume
176
article number
106006
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:32721418
  • scopus:85089077111
ISSN
0167-7012
DOI
10.1016/j.mimet.2020.106006
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
11da5703-4ca2-48fa-a736-cfd01001c88d
date added to LUP
2020-08-17 13:00:12
date last changed
2020-08-19 08:51:06
@article{11da5703-4ca2-48fa-a736-cfd01001c88d,
  abstract     = {<p>Efficient microbial sampling from surfaces for subsequent detection and quantification is crucial in fields such as food safety and hygiene monitoring. Cotton swabs are traditionally used for sample collection, but today there are numerous swabs of alternative material and different sizes available. Recovery efficiencies of swabs for different applications have been compared in several studies. However, the results are often contradictory. We have compared 15 different swabs made of cotton (n = 5), flocked nylon (n = 3) and foam (n = 7), for sampling of Listeria monocytogenes and mengovirus on small (4 cm<sup>2</sup>) and large (100 cm<sup>2</sup>) areas of window glass, ridged plastic and absorbing wood. Molecular quantification methods (qPCR and RT-qPCR) were applied, and all sampling and sample processing were standardized. Specific swabs gave higher DNA/RNA yields than others, depending on both the surface characteristics and the collected target. The highest DNA yields were achieved by applying Selefa or Puritan cotton swabs for Listeria sampling on 4 cm<sup>2</sup> areas of window glass and ridged plastic. Certain foam swabs (Critical swab with medium head and Macrofoam) gave the highest yields when sampling Listeria on 4 cm<sup>2</sup> areas of wood and on 100 cm<sup>2</sup> areas of ridged plastic and wood. Most foam swabs, and especially Sigma Virocult, were advantageous for virus sampling, regardless of surface. Nylon-flocked swabs showed poor recovery regardless of surface characteristics. The recovery varied substantially between swabs made of the same material, suggesting that a single swab may not be representative for a certain swab material.</p>},
  author       = {Jansson, Linda and Akel, Yasmine and Eriksson, Ronnie and Lavander, Moa and Hedman, Johannes},
  issn         = {0167-7012},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Microbiological Methods},
  title        = {Impact of swab material on microbial surface sampling},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mimet.2020.106006},
  doi          = {10.1016/j.mimet.2020.106006},
  volume       = {176},
  year         = {2020},
}