Articles Epidemiology Articles Medicine Articles

Gargle Lavage as a Safe and Sensitive Alternative to Swab Samples to Diagnose COVID-19: A Case Report in Japan

Published time: 02 April 2020

Authors: Makoto Saito,  Eisuke Adachi,  Seiya Yamayoshi,  Michiko Koga, Kiyoko Iwatsuki-Horimoto,  Yoshihiro Kawaoka,  Hiroshi Yotsuyanagi

Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, case report, Japan, outcome


The diagnosis of COVID-19 requires upper or lower respiratory samples. However, the problem of COVID-19 is that around 70-80% of patients do not have productive cough.1 To protect healthcare workers during sampling for diagnosis, the US CDC recommends not inducing cough to collect sputum samples, but rather the collection of nasopharyngeal and/or oropharyngeal swabs, or nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate or nasal aspirate. Nasal swabs are reported to have higher viral titers than throat swabs;2 accordingly, nasopharyngeal swabs are the preferred samples in Japan. However, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs cause discomfort to patients and can potentially increase the risk of direct exposure of healthcare workers by provoking coughing.

Gargle lavage as a safe and sensitive alternative to swab samples to diagnose COVID-19; a case report in Japan



Leave a Comment