Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Chlamydia Pneumoniae (Swab)

Does this test have other names?

Chlamydophila pneumoniae (C. pneumoniae) (swab), throat culture, pneumonia testing

What is this test?

If your healthcare provider suspects you have C. pneumoniae, he or she may do a swab test of your nose or throat to test for it. C. pneumoniae is just one of many strains of bacterial pneumonia that a person can become infected with.

Why do I need this test?

When you have a bacterial pneumonia such as C. pneumoniae, it can be potentially life-threatening if not treated. Symptoms may look like a common cold at first. You may have chest congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. But these symptoms can get worse over time. If the infection isn't treated, you may even end up in the hospital. The C. pneumoniae bacteria can't be found by looking through a microscope, so your healthcare provider needs a culture to find out exactly which bacteria you have. This means technicians try to grow the bacteria in your sample in the lab. Then your provider can give you the right treatment.

What other tests might I have along with this test?

Blood tests are sometimes used to identify C. pneumoniae. If your healthcare provider isn't sure of the cause of your infection, you may be tested for other bacteria, too. 

What do my test results mean?

A result for a lab test may be affected by many things, including the method the laboratory uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.

The best result of a culture is to find no trace of bacteria. If the culture grows bacteria, then technicians can figure out which types of bacteria are there. The best treatment can then be prescribed. 

How is this test done?

Your healthcare provider rubs a cotton swab in the back of your throat or nose to collect a sample for culture. The swab is taken to the lab, where the culture is grown to find out what germ is causing your illness.

Does this test pose any risks?

This test poses no known risks. 

What might affect my test results?

Other bacteria or germs found in your mouth and throat can cause problems in getting an accurate culture from a throat swab. Although it doesn't affect test results, the other drawback to getting a culture from a throat swab is that it often takes 1 to 3 weeks to get the results. For this reason, other tests, including blood tests, are often done to check for the cause of pneumonia. This way treatment can be started more quickly. But a blood test is not as accurate as growing a culture.

How do I get ready for this test?

No preparation is needed for the test. 

Chlamydia Pneumoniae (Swab) - WellSpan Health

Author: Myers, Wyatt
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Snyder, Mandy, APRN
Last Review Date: 2015-07-21T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2015-08-19T00:00:00
Published Date: 2015-09-03T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2012-04-04T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.