Test Catalog

Enterovirus, Molecular Detection, PCR

Updated: June 2013
Published: May 2012

What are Enteroviruses?

Enteroviruses are positive-sense RNA viruses in the Picornaviridae family that typically replicate in the gastrointestinal tract. However, in a proportion of cases, the virus spreads to other organs, causing severe disease, including aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, myopericarditis, herpangina, conjunctivitis, neonatal disease, and febrile illness.

Advantages of PCR Testing

The enterovirus PCR test is the recommended testing method for the detection of acute disease, by offering the following advantages:

  • Rapid turnaround times
  • Detection of circulating virus RNA
  • Improved Positive Predictive Value

Featured Tests

Molecular Hematology and Cytogenetics Laboratories

Enterovirus, Molecular Detection, PCR

These tests detect all human enterovirus strains including coxsackievirus, echovirus, and poliovirus and are the tests of choice for detection of acute disease by Mayo Clinic physicians.

Our assays are validated for multiple specimen sources, including CSF, plasma, respiratory specimens, body fluids, ocular swabs, dermal swabs and others.

Enterovirus, Molecular Detection, PCR (multiple specimen types)
Enterovirus, Molecular Detection, PCR, Plasma

Limitations of Other Testing Options

Routine Tube Cultures

  • Can take up to 14 days for a result
  • Lower sensitivity than PCR

Serologic Testing

  • Antibody response would not be reliably detectable during acute disease
  • Lacks clinical specificity due to high prevalence of enterovirus antibodies in the general population from previous exposure

Recommended Specimen Type

Clinical Syndrome Recommended Specimen Type for Enterovirus PCR Testing
Paralytic Disease Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
Meningitis/encephalitis Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
Acute Myopencarditis Pericardial fluid
Pleurodynia Pleural fluid
Herpangina Oral/mouth/throat swab
Rash Disease Swab of vesicle/lesion
Respiratory Infections Upper and lower respiratory tract specimens
Undifferentiated Fever Plasma
Diabetes/pancreatitis Plasma
Disease in Immunocompromised Host Plasma
Disease in the Neonate Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
Hemorrhagic Conjunctivitis Ocular swab
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