Microbiology Swab Test for Infections

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What is the Microbiology Swab Test for Infections?

A microbiology swab test is a non-invasive procedure used to identify bacterial infections in the ear, nose and/or throat. This diagnostic test is typically performed when a patient exhibits symptoms indicative of an infection, such as pain, redness, swelling, discharge in the ear, nasal congestion, or a sore throat. 

The process begins with the collection of a sample using a sterile medical-grade swab. Depending on the location of the suspected infection, the swab will be carefully inserted into different parts of the body:

  • Ear Infections: The swab would be gently inserted into the outer ear canal to gather any discharge or debris. 
  • Nasal Infection: The swab would be gently inserted into the nostril to collect secretions and cells.
  • Throat Infection: The swab would be gently inserted into the back of the throat to collect secretions of saliva.


The swab test is quick and helps accurately identify the cause of the potential infection to determine the appropriate treatment. This procedure is performed within the confines of a clinic setting and may or may not involve local anaesthesia to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure.

When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

Please consult an ENT specialist if you are suffering from any ear, nose, or throat symptoms. It is also advisable to visit an ENT doctor if you experience persistent mouth breathing due to a chronic blocked nose or encounter snoring issues.

Dr Ker Liang sees adults and children for general ENT conditions and provides comprehensive management in a broad range of Ear, Nose, and Throat, as well as Head and Neck conditions. In particular, she specialises in treating throat and voice conditions, including persistent sore throat, voice issues, snoring, and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

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Dr Ker Liang
ENT Surgeon

MBBS (S’pore), MRCS (Edin),

Specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions affecting the

ENT system, our doctor brings expertise, compassion, and a personalised approach to

every patient interaction. From common concerns such as allergies and sinus issues to

more complex conditions like hearing loss and throat disorders, our ENT specialist is

equipped to address your unique health needs with skill. 

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