We previously developed a method for self collection of nasal swab samples and demonstrated that self-collected swabs were sensitive (sensitivity 96%) compared with staff-collected nasal washes (sensitivity 88%) for detection of respiratory viruses (RVs) by PCR in 152 collections from immunocompetent volunteers with new upper respiratory infections (URIs). Our self-collection method employed saline spray delivered by a metered spray bottle and a polyurethane foam swab, but many current protocols advocate use of dry respiratory swabs.

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