Obtaining nasal and rectal swabs from general practice patients to assess carriage of antibiotic resistant microorganisms: a feasibility study

M. Honsbeek, A. Tjon-A-Tsien, E. Omeragic, E. Stobberingh, W. van Oorschot, M. Vos, J.H. Richardus, H. Voeten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of obtaining nasal and rectal swabs from general practice patients for measuring carriage of antibiotic resistant microorganisms in an area in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) with low socioeconomic status and a large immigrant population.Methods: Data collection was from May to December 2017, in one general practice in Rotterdam. We asked adults (>= 18 years) visiting the general practitioner (GP) with complaints not related to infections for one nasal and two rectal swabs and tested these for highly resistant microorganisms (HRMOs). Indicators for feasibility were recruitment rate, implementation and acceptation of data collection procedures by the participants.Results: We obtained a nasal swab from all included 234 patients and 164(70%) also gave rectal swabs. On average, 3 out of 30 invited patients (10%) were recruited per day.The GPs considered the workload high to inform and refer to eligible patients for the study and did this inconsistently. Most participants experienced the rectal swab procedure as burdensome and preferred assistance of a medical assistant above self-swabbing. A monetary incentive increased the willingness to provide rectal swabs.Conclusions: Obtaining (nasal and) rectal swabs from general practice patients for study purposes proved difficult. Lessons learnt from this feasibility study will help increase participation in HRMO prevalence studies among asymptomatic general practice patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • general practitioners
  • feasibility studies
  • patient recruitment
  • prevalence
  • primary health

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