The FDA has authorized a new sample type, anterior nasal swabs, for use with some EUA authorized real-time RT-PCR assays for COVID-19 testing. Using anterior nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 testing offers many advantages over the typical sample types, human oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal swab samples.
How are samples taken using anterior nasal swabs?
Using anterior nasal swabs, samples are collected for COVID-19 testing by inserting the swab less than one inch into both nostrils while rotating several times against nasal wall.
This type of sample collection is less invasive and results in less patient discomfort than sampling from other upper respiratory sites.
Patients can collect their own samples
Under the supervision of a clinical administrator, people being tested for COVID-19 are able to will swab their nostrils themselves.
Reducing the risk of infection for healthcare providers
Having participants swab their own nostrils reduces the risk of infection for healthcare providers.
Faster sampling time
Because sampling is less complex and can be done by the people being tested, using anterior nasal swabs typically results in faster sampling time.