Genital Culture

Sunquest Code:GENC  
Epic Code:LAB465Epic Name:Genital Culture Aerob Bacterial
Test Includes:Routine culture of predominant aerobic flora. Gardnerella species will be detected. Does not include culture for Neisseria gonorrhoeae unless requested and collected. (See separate Lab Guide entry: Neisseria gonorrhoeae Culture. Diagnosis for bacterial vaginosis should be by gram stain ONLY. No culture required.
Turnaround Time:Performed 24 hours/day, 7 days/week; results are reported within 3 days.
Associated Links:

IDDL (Microbiology/Virology) Collection Container Guidelines

Collection Instructions

Specimen:Cervical swab, aspirate or discharge from cervix
Container:CoPan ESwab with larger swab, See Collection Instructions (CoPan ESwab with smaller swab)
Collection Instructions:

UMMC, FRH, FSH, FNH, FLH: Use CoPan Eswab

FRMC: Use culturette swab


Cervical Culture:

·          Use a speculum lubricated with water, NOT lubricant, to visualize cervical os. 

·          Remove cervical mucus.

·          Insert swab into distal portion of cervical os, rotate gently, allow to remain for 10-30 seconds. 

·          Place swab in culture container tube. Crush ampule to ensure proper preservation of specimen.

For gonococcal culture, immediately inoculate warm (room temperature) Thayer-Martin agar plate (at one edge of plate). Specifically request culture for Neisseria gonorrhoeae. If transport delayed more than 1 hour or sent from an off-site location, must be transported in CO2 transport container.

Vaginal Culture:

Diagnosis for bacterial vaginosis should be by gram stain ONLY. No culture required.

Avoid contamination with normal flora from skin, rectum, vaginal tract or other body surface.



Processing and Shipping

Specimen Processing:Store at room temperature.
Shipping Instructions:Ship at room temperature. Must arrive within 24 hours.
Test Performed at or Referral Lab Infectious Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory  (Fairview Range - FRMC, UMMC-East Bank, Grand Itasca GICH)


Reference Range:No growth or normal urogenital flora.
Use:Establish possible cause of cervicitis or cervical discharge; establish predominant aerobic flora in pregnant women in premature labor or with premature rupture of membranes. PCR based assay is the definitive test for N. gonorrhoeae from cervix or urine.

Click HERE to Report test errors or omissions.
*If no email program is associated with this computer, please contact: for TestID: 626"