Diagnostic Tests

Culture and Sensitivity Ear Swab


Culture and Sensitivity Ear Swab

Also known as Culture And Sensitivity Aerobic Ear Swab
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What is this test?

An ear swab sample is often collected from an individual if the doctor suspects that the pain and swelling in the ears of the individual may be caused by bacteria. Ear infections can be painful because of inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear sections just behind the eardrums. The goal is to see if there is a bacterial infection present in the ear region. A cotton swab is gently inserted into the ear to collect the sample.

What is an ear infection?

An ear infection occurs when a viral or bacterial organisms affect the middle ear especially the region behind the eardrum. Ear infections can be acute or chronic. Short-term or infections lasting for a short time are called as acute infections and can be painful but the duration of infection is short. The infections which take a long time to heal or recurring infections are called as chronic infections. The chronic ear infections may cause permanent damage to the middle ear or the inner ear. The symptoms of ear infections include mild to moderate pain or discomfort inside the ear, a feeling of pressure inside the ear that persists, fussiness in young infants, pus-like ear drainage, hearing loss, etc.

What are Bacteria, and Aerobic Bacteria:

Bacteria are the single-celled microorganisms that can live within the soil, in the ocean and also inside the human gut. They have a number of shapes such as spirals, rods, and spheres etc. Some bacteria can cause illness to the human body and some other plays a major role in the overall functioning of our ecosystem.

Aerobic bacteria are the bacteria which can survive in the presence of oxygen only. In the absence of oxygen, aerobic bacteria cannot survive and can die. Some of the aerobic bacteria are Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Nocardia, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis etc.

Why this test is recommended?

This test may be recommended to you if you experience certain symptoms of ear infection like pain or discomfort in the ear, pus-like ear drainage, a feeling of pressure in the ear that persists, fussiness in young children, hearing loss, etc. This test may be specially performed to check if the infection is due to aerobic bacteria or not. This test is also recommended to plan the treatment according to the type of bacteria. The test is also recommended to check the effectiveness of the treatment given.

Also known as C/S Aerobic Ear Swab.

Test Preparation

Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Culture and Sensitivity Ear Swab. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Culture and Sensitivity Ear Swab.

No specific preparation is necessary for this test.

Understanding your test results

The normal test results may vary depending on age, health history, medical condition, etc.

If your test results show negative it means there is no growth of aerobic bacteria.

If your test results show positive it may indicate that you may have aerobic bacterial infection in the ear region.

If you get abnormal test results, consult your doctor immediately with your lab test reports.

GenderAge groupsValue
UNISEXAll age groupsThe growth depends on the infecting organism. Clearing around the disc indicates organism is sensitive to antibiotic
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