Test Overview
Test Methodology


Test Usage

Isolate and identify potentially pathogenic organisms

Reference Range *

Normal eye flora

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

If the specimen is refrigerated, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Hemophilus influenzae and other fastidious organisms may not be isolated, even though they are present in the specimen. Normal eye skin flora includes diphtheroids, alpha Streptococcus, gamma Streptococcus, Micrococcus sp, Neisseria sp (not N. gonorrhoeae or N. meningitidis), Bacillus sp. (not B. anthracis or B. cereus), Hemophilus sp. (not H. influenzae) and coagulase negative staphylococcus. If present, these organisms will be reported as 'skin flora present'.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Analytic Time

Preliminary results are reported in 18-24 hours. The health care provider will be notified when culture becomes positive with possible Pseudomonas, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Bacillus cereus, Group A beta streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, yeast, or molds. Negative cultures are reported after 3 days.

Soft Order Code
  • Conjunctiva Culture, Aerobic
  • Cornea, Routine Culture
  • Culture, Conjunctiva, Aerobic
  • Eye, Routine Culture
  • Routine Culture, Conjunctiva
Specimen Requirements
Collection Instructions

Cleanse skin around eye with mild antiseptic and collect eye swab, corneal scrapings, conjunctiva, or donor cornea. Swab: pass swab moistened with preservative-free saline 2 times over lower conjunctiva, avoiding eyelid border and lashes. Scrapings: use local anesthetic and platinum spatula. Scraping should be done by ophthalmologist. (OD = right eye, OS = left eye). If orbital cellulitis is suspected, write "cellulitis" on the requisition.

Normal Volume
1 swab; 2 swabs if direct smear is desired
Minimum Volume
1 swab
Storage Temperature
Ambient: Up to 12 hours
Refrigerated: No
Frozen: No
Rejection Criteria
Specimen >12 hours old.
Additional Information

Includes direct smear and culture. On corneal specimens, all organisms are identified, unless the specimen appears contaminated with skin flora. Test includes susceptibility testing of potentially pathogenic organism(s) at an additional charge unless specifically declined.

CPT Code
87070 Culture, 87205 Smear
Fee Code