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Anal Cultures

To obtain an anal culture, insert a sterile, cotton-tipped applicator about an inch (2 cm) into the anal canal.

Rotate the cotton-tipped applicator, sampling the anal crypts.

Remove the applicator, and send the specimen in media appropriate for the organism you are seeking:

  • Chocolate agar plates for gonorrhea (or other suitable culture media)
  • Blood agar plates for strep (or other suitable culture media)

If the applicator becomes grossly contaminated with stool, it is better to discard it and obtain another specimen.

Source: Operational Medicine 2001,  Health Care in Military Settings, NAVMED P-5139, May 1, 2001, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Department of the Navy, 2300 E Street NW, Washington DC, 20372-5300, USA