VIRNR - Overview: Viral Culture, Non-Respiratory

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Test ID: VIRNR    
Viral Culture, Non-Respiratory

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Diagnosing viral infections

Testing Algorithm Delineates situation(s) when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

All routine viral cultures are inoculated into cell culture tubes for viral detection. The most common specimens received for routine testing include body fluid, rectal, spinal fluid, and stool. A rapid (16-hour incubation) shell vial cell culture assay will be inoculated when specimens are designated for herpes simplex virus (HSV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) detection, or as appropriate for source indicated.


Blood, lymph node tissue, and bone marrow/bone tissue specimens are not good sources for viral culture and are frequently toxic to cell culture lines. Most molecular methods are appropriate for these specimen types (exception: bone tissue). See individual real-time PCR assay test descriptions.


Genital, synovial fluid, wound swab or tissue (includes pus, drainage, or abscess fluid) specimens are not acceptable for viral culture.


Ocular fluids (vitreous and aqueous) are generally of inadequate volume for viral cell culture and molecular testing is typically recommended for these samples. See individual real-time PCR assay test descriptions.


Oral specimens submitted for culture should be ordered as VRESP / Viral Culture, Respiratory.


Dermal specimens are only acceptable for enterovirus culture:

-For dermal specimens for hand-foot-and-mouth disease or enterovirus, clearly indicate "enterovirus" on request.


For requests to rule-out HSV infection in neonates (<1 month) on dermal specimens, order VHSV / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Culture From Neonates.


Testing for Mumps or Measles Virus: Do not submit specimens for viral culture testing if there is a suspicion of mumps or measles virus. Suspect mumps or measles cases should be submitted directly to a state health department for laboratory testing.


Do not submit specimens for viral culture testing if there is a suspicion of Ebola virus or any viral hemorrhagic fever, avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronovirus (MERS-CoV), or other high-risk infectious agents. Contact your state health department for more information and testing options.


For requests for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) on bone marrow or urine specimen, see:

-LCMV / Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Molecular Detection, PCR


For requests for herpes simplex virus (HSV) or varicella-zoster virus (VZV) on genital or dermal specimen, see:

-LHSV / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Molecular Detection, PCR

-LVZV / Varicella-Zoster Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR

-LHSVZ / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV), Molecular Detection, PCR

Special Instructions and Forms Describes specimen collection and preparation information, test algorithms, and other information pertinent to test. Also includes pertinent information and consent forms to be used when requesting a particular test

Method Name A short description of the method used to perform the test

Cell Culture

Shell Vial Assay for Herpes Simplex Virus or Cytomegalovirus

NY State Approved Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name A shorter/abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test; an abbreviated test name

Viral Culture, Non Respiratory

Aliases Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

Culture for Virus, Routine
Culture, Coxsackie Virus/Echovirus
Herpes 1 and 2 (Culture)
Viral Isolation
Virus (CSF)
Coxsackie Virus (CSF and Rectal Swab)
Herpes or Herpes Simplex Virus Culture
Virus, Stool Culture