I would like to ask what type of cells should someone expect in a pharyngeal smear, in a person, who is infected with a viral infection. Thank you a lot!

  • $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it seems to be a medical question rather than one primarily about biology. This means it is not on-topic for this site. While this might be a better fit for Medical Sciences, please don't repost (instead request migration). Please consult the tour, How to Ask, and other help center pages for more information. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Jul 21 '20 at 19:26

The tissue in the pharynx include:

Stratified squamous epithelium & mucus-producing glands.

However other cells that could be found would be other types of bacterial, is this what you're referencing?

Commonly scientists start with a gram stain to determine the classify the bacteria.

Gram+ bacteria have cell walls composed of thick layers of peptidoglycan. Gram+ cells stain purple when. Gram- bacteria have cell walls with a thin layer of peptidoglycan. Gram- bacteria stain pink.

The microbiome of a human consists of 100,000 billion bacteria. Therefore there are many types. E.g. Prevotella has been shown to be the most common type of bacteria in the human pharynx.

In a pharyngeal smear you would expect to find Stratified squamous epithelium, mucus-producing glands, bacteria and if a virus is present. Viral particles. This can be determined by RNA or DNA analysis.

E.g. COVID-19 is an RNA virus. If PCR analysis was completed on a sample obtained from a pharyngeal smear then we could confirm the presence of the aforementioned mammalian cells, bacteria and viral genetic material.

  • $\begingroup$ should someone expect lymphocytes? $\endgroup$ – marilu Jul 22 '20 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ @Marilu, lymphocytes continuously circulate between the lymph and blood until they encounter a foreign antigen. It would be possible, but it's usually not the aim of a pharyngeal smear. A blood test would provide better results to identify how 'hard' the immune system to working. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Jul 22 '20 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ thank you so much! $\endgroup$ – marilu Jul 23 '20 at 9:50
  • $\begingroup$ Happy to help Marilu. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Jul 23 '20 at 9:50

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