In an article published in Pediatrics in 2008, the authors compare the ability of nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) and nose-throat swabs (NTS) to identify respiratory viruses in children. Sound familiar? In the hospital an NPA was collected from your child, and we have asked you to collect a variety of different nasal swabs so that we can track your child’s respiratory health. The idea is that the swabs that you take at home are as valuable in providing important information about your child’s viruses as the NPA that was taken in the hospital… and it seems that the authors of the article agree. They say that the “use of parent collection techniques could fill gaps in knowledge about virus epidemiology…” You can read the full article here.
Lambert SB, Whiley DM, et al. Comparing nose-throat swabs and nasopharyngeal aspirates collected from children with symptoms for respiratory virus identification using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Pediatrics 2008;122(3):615-20.