1 September 2014
A nose model that allows for the comparison of different modes of sample acquisition as well as of nasal swab systems concerning their suitability to detect defined quantities of intranasal microorganisms, and further for training procedures of medical staff, was evaluated.
Based on an imprint of a human nose, a model made of a silicone elastomer was formed. Autoclave stability was assessed. Using an inoculation suspension containing Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, the model was compared with standardized glass plate inoculations. Effects of inoculation time, mode of sampling, and sample storage time were assessed.
The model was stable to 20 autoclaving cycles. There were no differences regarding the optimum coverage from the nose and from glass plates. Optimum sampling time was 1 h after inoculation. Storage time after sampling was of minor relevance for the recovery. Rotating the swab around its own axis while circling the nasal cavity resulted in best sampling results.
The suitability of the assessed nose model for the comparison of sampling strategies and systems was confirmed. Without disadvantages in comparison with sampling from standardized glass plates, the model allows for the assessment of a correct sampling technique due to its anatomically correct shape.