A clinical study performed by Virology Laboratory, Waikato Hospital, New Zealand evaluated ∑–VIROCULT® (viral transport media) using the CLSI Quality Control of Microbiological Transport Systems Approved Standard M40–A.
The standard presents a specified culture protocol to assess a viral culture transport device manufactured to facilitate virus preservation.
Viral particles vary widely in composition, structure, morphology size and stability. Viral isolation has been widely accepted as the gold standard for laboratory confirmation of viral infection; however, it requires specimen storage and transport in a viral medium maintained at low temperatures to optimally preserve infectious viral particles. A suitable transport medium for swabs must maintain viability of viruses, prevent overgrowth of bacteria and fungi, and prevent drying of the specimen The Σ-Virocult® is designed for specimen collection, transport and maintenance of virus viability
The study was carried out using two different temperatures. Herpes simplex virus type 2 and Adenovirus type 3 were inoculated into ∑–VIROCULT® swabs at a concentration of 5 x 104 TCID50 and held at 22°C and 4°C. The swabs were sampled every day for four days, then at day seven.
The results showed that the swabs maintain the viability of virus as set out in the standard and that survival is better at 4°C. The ∑–VIROCULT® transport swabs may be recommended as a reliable virus transport device.