I want to take a sample of skin infection bacteria (I suppose combination of staphylococus, strep, etc) and give it to the doctor for analysis but the appointment is in two weeks. The bacteria will be dead by then, right? Is there any home-made nurturing solution that I can put them in to preserve them until then?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Depends on the bacteria. You can inoculate the bacterial cells in a sterile isotonic solution like saline and store the sample in the fridge (4⁰C). The cells will survive for 2 weeks. $\endgroup$
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 9:00
  • $\begingroup$ Do you have sterile swabs with which to take the sample? Just a regular cotton swab won't work. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 13:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The problem that stands out the most is will a clinical lab even bother running tests on a patient-procured sample, and second to that, would the results be valid? $\endgroup$
    – CKM
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 15:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you everybody for your answers. Then I can give it a try by extracting the crust that contains liquid on the inside with sterilized tweezers and try to preserve it in saline in the fridge. I hope that the lab will accept it cause the alternative is no sample or me going to the emergency for a pimple since I will never manage to synchronize the doctors appointment with the random moment that it decides to re-appear every time :P $\endgroup$
    – Klara
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


In a lab there are so many ways of doing this. However, at home is a little tricky. This is what I would do:

Keep your bacteria in a liquid media.

Liquid Media: make the media out of NaCl and AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE (distilled if possible) water (concentration 18g NaCl / L). Place a sample of the bacteria into the solution. Freeze solution with bacteria (-20 degrees C if possible). Take out when wanted.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .