Viral Culture, Non-Respiratory
Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test
Viruses are responsible for a broad spectrum of clinical symptoms and diseases. The most commonly isolated viruses are: adenovirus, cytomegalovirus, enteroviruses, herpes simplex virus, and varicella-zoster virus.
Many viral infections can now be treated with antiviral drugs. Early laboratory diagnosis by isolation is very helpful in the medical management of these patients.
Diagnosing viral infections
A positive result indicates that virus was present in the specimen submitted. Clinical correlation is necessary to determine the significance of this finding.
Negative results may be seen in a number of situations including absence of viral disease, inability of the virus to grow in culture (examples of organisms not detected by this culture test include Epstein-Barr virus, rubella virus, papilloma, and Norwalk virus), and nonviable organisms submitted.
For patients with diarrhea, see Parasitic Investigation of Stool Specimens Algorithm in Special Instructions for other diagnostic tests that may be useful.
Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances
Viral isolation and detection depends on the proper collection and transport of the specimen.
This test is not useful for viruses (not listed above) that cannot be grown in cell culture (see Interpretation).
Reference Values Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.
If positive, virus is identified.
Clinical References Provides recommendations for further in-depth reading of a clinical nature
Smith TF: Antibody-enhanced detection of viruses in cell cultures. In Manual of Clinical Laboratory Immunology. 5th edition. Edited by NR Rose, EC de Macario, JD Folds, et al. Washington, DC, ASM Press, 1997, pp 618-624