Importance of Sample Collection and Transport in the Age of COVID-19

The Key to Successful Antimicrobial Stewardship: Interdisciplinary Teams

Title: Importance of Sample Collection and Transport in the Age of COVID-19

Date: Tuesday, June 9

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Presenter: Susan E. Sharp, PhD, (D)ABMM, (F)AAM, MS, MT(ASCP)

The Future of Sample Collection

Proper sample collection and transport play an important role in the accurate and timely identification of a pathogen. When testing for a respiratory virus, the gold standard is a specialized flocked swab used to collect a sample from the nasopharynx. The sample is then transported in viral media.

As the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) evolved into a global pandemic, swab specimen collection became a popular topic. Researchers and assay manufacturers, as well as the FDA and CDC, discussed different types of swabs and transport media to decide which could be used for sample collection and transport.

In this P.A.C.E.-accredited Fisher Healthcare webinar, Susan E. Sharp, PhD, will take an in-depth look at different types of swabs, how they are used to collect samples, and the quality procedures required for manufacturing them. She will explore recommendations from the FDA regarding swabs, collection sites, and transport media, as well as how these recommendations evolved during the pandemic, and the role that self-collection will play in the future of respiratory viral testing.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will help you:

  • List and identify the types of swabs that are commonly used for sample collection for respiratory viruses and the differences between each
  • Recognize and discuss the types of transport media that are commonly used for SAR-CoV-2 sample collection and the differences between each
  • Describe the factors that make up a good specimen
  • Explain the evolution of swabs and transport media recommendations by the FDA

Watch on Demand      Download Slides (PDF, 3.1MB)

This webinar is produced by Whitehat Communications, a provider of continuing education programs in clinical laboratory sciences that has been approved by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.™ Program. One P.A.C.E. credit hour will be provided for this complimentary, basic-level program.



Susan E. Sharp, PhD, (D)ABMM, (F)AAM, MS, MT(ASCP)

As a clinical microbiologist and active member of The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) for 30 years, Dr. Susan Sharp has served on various boards and committees. She is a Diplomat of the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) and a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Sharp served as the Chair of the ASM Public and Scientific Affairs Board’s Committee on Laboratory Practices from 2007 to 2015, as well as Chair of the Examination Development committee and Vice-Chair of the ABMM from 1999 to 2015. She was selected as the bioMérieux Sonnenwirth laureate, ASM’s highest award for leadership in clinical microbiology, and received ASM’s American Board for Medical Microbiology Professional Recognition Award in 2017.

Sharp recently served as an Advisor to the CLSI Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing Sub-Committee and is a current member of the CLSI AST Resistance Working Group and the Methods Application and Interpretation Working Group. She is an active member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the Office of Infectious Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a member of the College of Pathologists Microbiology Resource Committee. Sharp is a Past-President of ASM and a former member of ASM’s Board of Directors.

Sharp has also served as a director for microbiology laboratory services for over 30 years and is currently the Scientific Director for Copan Diagnostics, Inc., U.S. She received her B.S. in Medical Technology and her M.S. in Medical Microbiology and Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.