Background: We compared four combinations of nasopharyngeal swabs and transport media for their ability to transfer and recover viruses under different storage conditions.
Methods: Each swab was immersed in culture supernatants of influenza A virus (IAV), respiratory syncytial virus, and adenovirus, placed in transport medium, and stored at -20℃, +4℃, +20 to 25℃, and +37℃ for 5 days. On each day, virus culture and real-time PCR were performed for each virus.
Results: All samples under different storage conditions showed positive results up to 5 days using both virus culture and real-time PCR. Real-time PCR showed that samples stored at -20℃, 4℃, and 20 - 25℃ were within two cycle thresholds (Cts) up to 5 days, but IAV at 37℃ showed that viral titer decreased after 3 days.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that these swab and transport media maintained the stability of the above viruses for 5 days at room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen storage conditions.