Under a low magnification of 38x, this 2007 scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted the fibrous configuration of a plain uninoculated cotton swab. This swab, as well as three other materials, including macrofoam (see PHIL 9736, 9737, 9738), polyester (see PHIL 9735), and rayon (see PHIL 9734) were scanned for a CDC study involving their efficiency in recovery of Bacillus anthracis
bacterial spores from steel coupons that had been inoculated with a spore suspension of known concentration. See PHIL 9732, for another view of this material. The article discussing the description of this swab material analysis, and the analytical results was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases
, Vol. 10, No. 6, June, 2004, and was entitled, Swab Materials and Bacillus anthracis Spore Recovery from Nonporous Surfaces
. A link to this article is found below.