Chlamydia Pneumoniae (Swab)
Does this test have other names?
Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) (swab), throat culture, pneumonia testing
What is this test?
If your healthcare provider suspects you have C. pneumoniae, he or she may do a swab
test of your nose or throat to test for it. C. pneumoniae is just one of many types
of bacteria that can cause pneumonia.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test because when you have a bacterial pneumonia such as C. pneumoniae,
it can be potentially life-threatening if not treated. Symptoms may look like a common
cold at first. You may have chest congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. But these
symptoms can get worse over time. If the infection isn't treated, you may even end
up in the hospital. The C. pneumoniae bacteria can't be found by looking through a
microscope, so your healthcare provider needs a culture to find out exactly which
bacteria you have. This means lab technicians grow and identify the specific bacteria
from your sample so your provider can prescribe the right treatment.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Blood tests are sometimes used to identify C. pneumoniae. If your healthcare provider
isn't sure of the cause of your infection, you may be tested for other bacteria, too.
What do my test results mean?
Test results may vary depending on your age, gender, health history, the method used
for the test, and other things. Your test results may not mean you have a problem.
Ask your healthcare provider what your test results mean for you.
The best result of a culture is to find no trace of bacteria. If the culture grows
bacteria, then technicians can figure out which types of bacteria are there. The best
treatment can then be prescribed.
How is this test done?
Your healthcare provider rubs a cotton swab in the back of your throat or nose to
collect a sample for culture. The swab is taken to the lab, where the culture is grown
to find out what germ is causing your illness.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
Other bacteria or germs found in your mouth and throat can cause problems in getting
an accurate culture from a throat swab. Although it doesn't affect test results, the
other drawback to getting a culture from a throat swab is that it often takes 1 to
3 weeks to get the results. For this reason, other tests, including blood tests, are
often done to check for the cause of pneumonia. This way treatment can be started
more quickly. But a blood test is not as accurate as growing a culture.
How do I get ready for this test?
No preparation is needed for the test. Be sure your healthcare provider knows about
all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines
that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.