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Throat and Nasopharyngeal Cultures

Edwin H. Gullekson, MD
JAMA. 1967;202(4):368. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130170168039.
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To the Editor:—  The question frequently arises whether to do a throat culture, nasopharyngeal culture, or both in a given child with a respiratory infection.The nose may act as a primary reservoir for organisms which find their way further down the respiratory tract. The nasopharyngeal culture is a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. In cases of suspected diphtheria and in group A hemolytic streptococcus infections, both the throat and nasopharynx should be cultured. Carriers of staphylococcus and meningococcus can best be detected by the use of a nasopharyngeal culture. Culture of the nasopharynx is a necessity in order to isolate the etiologic agent of pertussis.'In a study by Laxdal et al, 20 middle-ear aspirates were cultured from children with acute otitis media. Bacterial pathogens were found in 11 of the 20 specimens. The same pathogen was found simultaneously in the nose and throat in only

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