Collection and transport systems manufacturer Copan has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its FecalSwab.

FecalSwab has been developed to collect rectal swabs and fecal specimens and preserve the viability of enteric pathogenic bacteria during transport from the collection site to the testing laboratory.

Copan Diagnostics CEO Norman Sharples said: "FecalSwab is an exciting new product for automated specimen processing in microbiology, which is growing tremendously.

"Plus, it is a convenient solution for traditional culture, as well as the expanded use of rapid molecular based gastrointestinal disease diagnostics."

FecalSwab incorporates a regular size Copan flocked swab ((FLOQSwab) and a screw cap tube containing 2ml of Cary-Blair medium, which is the medium of choice for transport and preservation of enteric bacteria due to its high pH.

Acording to Copan, FecalSwab can also be used alternatively to take a rectal sample directly from the patient.

It is said to simplify and standardize fecal sample collection, transport and processing by converting solid or semi-solid fecal specimens into a phase suitable for fully automatic specimen processors, in space saving, instrument ready tubes.