A nasopharyngeal culture is a test used to identify organisms that can be in nasal secretions causing disease. Nasopharyngeal cultures are useful in identifying Bordetella pertussis and Neisseria meningitidis (types of bacteria). The culture may be used to test for appropriate antibiotic therapy.
Review Date 12/6/2021
Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Paul F. Harron Jr. Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.