The vaginal microbiome has been correlated with health issues such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The patient giving the sample may have sensitivities in the vagina and surrounding area so sample collection must be done by a professional in a clinic, or at home using a validated self-collection kit (see information below). Our team can advise on a workflow that meets your needs.
DRY SWABS: For dry swabs we recommend using the Becton-Dickinson, BBL CultureSwab EZ II which includes a double-swab encased in a rigid non-breathable transport tube. For all other dry swabs make sure to keep the wrapper for transport to our lab. To best optimise your downstream process, it is recommended to use two swabs (or one BD DBL CultureSwab II) to maximize your DNA content per sampling session.
DEVICES WITH BUFFER: Both Norgen Biotek and DNA Genotek Inc. are manufacturers of biological specimen collection devices that incorporate a lytic stabilization buffer for storage at ambient temperature. See the Resources section below for a quick link to the recommended kits. Please refer to each manufacturer for more detail.