A Field Trial of a New Transport Medium for Collection of Feces for Bacteriologic Examination


A simple medium for the collection and transport of stool or rectal swabs was tested in an area where diarrheas are endemic. In most instances, enteric pathogens survived 7 days or longer following inoculation of the medium. Interference by non-pathogenic bacteria commonly found in the stool was not apparent.

The medium consists of sodium thioglycollate, Na2HPO4, CaCl2, NaCl, and agar in demineralized distilled water, and is adjusted to pH 8.4. It is easily and cheaply prepared, does not need refrigeration prior to use or incubation following inoculation, and has a small space requirement. The semi-solid nature of the medium eliminates the leakage or spillage often associated with fluid-collecting media. Swabs for use with the medium are prepared by dipping them into hot Sorenson's buffer, pH 8.1, followed by sterilization and drying.

It was concluded that the medium provides a practical, effective means for the collection and transport of fecal material for subsequent bacteriologic examination.

Author Notes

Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, SEATO Medical Research Laboratory, Bangkok, Thailand. Present address of S. Gaines: Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D. C.

Department of Bacteriology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Washington, D. C. Present address of E. B. Blair: U. S. Army Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory, Fitzsimons General Hospital, Denver, Colorado.