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Nov 25, 2014Print this page

Not All Liquid Transport Systems for Specimen Processors are Created Equal!


In the world of microbiology, automated liquid handling and testing has streamlined both specimen collection and transport processes. The ability to run multiple tests from the same specimen requires the capacity to easily transform a swab sample into liquid phase.

Automated specimen processors like Copan’s WASP (Walk Away Specimen Processor), BD Kiestra™ InoqulA™, and i2a PRELUD™ as well as others on the market today offer a system which encompasses all aspects of set-up and processing, including streaking and plating as well as enrichment broth inoculation and gram slide preparation.

Why Labs Use Automated Specimen Processors 

Labs around the world are adopting instruments of this sort for their ability to run 24/7 and accurately mimic processes traditionally performed by a lab tech, resulting in throughput capacity equal to that of 2 or more full-time equivalents!

As this revolutionary technology becomes the industry standard, it’s imperative for laboratories to find the most cost effective media transport system which not only supports all types of bacteria, but is validated for use with this new and increasingly popular technology.

Although many specimen processors are specifically designed for use with the maker’s own brand of liquid transport system, other brands of transport tubes and swabs may be a more cost-effective and often, superior alternative.

Why Validating Liquid Transport Systems is So Important

The only way for a lab to ensure they are getting the best price and most accurate results is by validating another supplier’s product against the product provided by the maker of the specimen processor. Validating multiple suppliers transport systems is becoming common practice for labs around the world, not only to guarantee sustainable supply, but also for product quality and cost comparison.

Validation tests can often yield surprising results, causing labs to choose one supplier over another; as demonstrated in a study conducted by Puritan, using Copan’s WASP Specimen Processor. Copan’s WASP was specifically designed for the Copan ESwab™ system, but since many specimen processors can work interchangeably with different brands of transport tubes, comparative tests were conducted in order to conclusively determine if WASP was able to differentiate between similar brands.

Puritan's Liquid Amies Compatible & Superior to Copan’s ESwab™

Tests concluded that a virtually identical product, Puritan’s Liquid Amies collection and transport systems with HydraFlock® flocked swabs either matched or outperformed Copan’s ESwab™. Comparative tests showed similar results to ESwab™, but Puritan’s Liquid Amies generally yielded higher colony counts.

Comparative tests like the aforementioned are the only way to conclusively determine which liquid transport system is superior. Validation studies yielding valuable data are being conducted more frequently as labs around the world adopt a fully or semi-automated specimen processing workflow.

In this case, the identification of Puritan’s cost-effective, yet superior alternative to Copan’s ESwab™ for use on WASP equipment was invaluable; giving labs the confidence to stock a product they can trust over the more expensive, less reliable brand name alternatives.

Comparative Data Lets You Make the Best Choice

With useful comparative data readily available, labs are now armed with the knowledge that not all liquid transport products are created equal, thereby allowing them to stock the one that not only fits their budget, but yields the most accurate counts. 

As the incorporation of new, advanced equipment in microbiological laboratory settings becomes more common sourcing the most effective and reliable components is crucial. The knowledge that Puritan’s liquid amies with HydraFlock® flocked swab is a superior alternative to Copan’s ESwab™ offers laboratory buyers a preferable option as they fill their inventory each year.

Puritan’s Liquid Amies Transport Systems include the proprietary patented HydraFlock® flocked swab with a polystyrene handle and flock tip. The unique design of the swab paired with modified liquid amies transport medium, results in a buffered environment ideal for protecting bacterial viability during both collection and transport. 


Sources Cited:

  1. XHERMI.TRIMI1*, TONY.MAZZULLI1, 2. Engineering Validation of Puritan’s Liquid Amies Transport System and Copan’s WASP Automation. 1 Department of Microbiology, Mt. Sinai Hospital and University Health Network, and 2 Department

    of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.puritanmedproducts.com/assets/uploads/general/ASM-WASP_Poster_5.20.14.pdf

  2. WASP AUTOMATION WALKAWAY SPECIMEN PROCESSOR. Copan USA. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.copanusa.com/products/wasp/

  3. Puritan Liquid Amies. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.puritanmedproducts.com/products/all-products?search=liquid+amies

  4. ESWAB LIQUID BASED COLLECTION AND TRANSPORT SYSTEM. Copan USA. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.copanusa.com/products/eswab/

  5. Liquid Based Multipurpose Collection and Transport System. eSwab. Copan USA. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.copanusa.com/media/brochures/Copan_ESwab_broch-web.pdf

  6. BD Kiestra™ InoqulA™. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://bit.ly/1rqhbHy

  7. BD MAX™ MRSA: Explore the possibilities to optimize your MRSA surveillance program TODAY!. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from: http://www.bd.com/ds/learningCenter/labo/nl_labo_223569.pdf

Topics: Media Transport Systems, Scientific Studies


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