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Skin swab

ISSN 2398-2993


Synonym(s): Bacteriology, dermatology diagnostics

Introduction

  • Skin swabs are an essential part of the investigation of a dermatological condition.
  • They are simple to perform.

Uses

  • Obtaining samples for bacterial or fungal culture.
  • Sampling for cytological examination.
  • Samples obtained from:
    • Ear canal.
    • Interdigital area.
    • Sinus tracts.
    • Pustules.

Advantages

  • Simple to perform.
  • Cheap.
  • Often yield valuable results.

Technical problems

  • The skin of cattle is heavily contaminated with both bacteria and saprophytic fungi. This makes a direct swab from ulcerated or eroded skin difficult to interpret.

Alternative techniques

  • Skin biopsy.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Technique

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Clegg S R, Bell J, Ainsworth S, Blowey R W, Bell N J, Carter S D & Evans N J (2016) Isolation of digital dermatitis treponemes. Vet Dermatol 27 (2), 106-109 PubMed.
  • Schlotter K, Huber-Schlenstedt R, Gangl A et al (2014) Multiple cases of methicillin-resistant CC130 Staphylococcus aureus harboring mecC in milk and swab samples from a Bavarian dairy herd. J Dairy Sci 97 (5), 2782-8 PubMed.
  • Paduch J H, Mohr E & Krömker V (2013) ​The association between bedding material and the bacterial counts of Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus uberis and coliform bacteria on teat skin and in teat canals in lactating dairy cattle. J Dairy Res 80 (2), 159-64 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Waine K, Busin V & Strugnell B (2019) Getting the Most out of On-Farm Post-Mortems: A Guide for Veterinary Surgeons. AHDB, UK. Website: https://ahdb.org.uk.
  • Doxey D L & Nathan M B F (1989) BSAVA Manual of Laboratory Techniques.
  • Scott D W (1988) Large Animal Dermatology. Saunders. pp 120-167.