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Test ID: VIRNR    
Viral Culture, Non-Respiratory

Specimen Type Describes the specimen type needed for testing


Specimen Required Defines the optimal specimen. This field describes the type of specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing. The volume allows automated processing, fastest throughput and, when indicated, repeat or reflex testing.

Blood*, bone marrow/bone tissue*, lymph node tissue, dermal, genital, oral, synovial fluid, wound swab or tissue, or urine** specimens are not acceptable for viral culture. For dermal or oral specimens for hand-foot-and-mouth disease or enterovirus, clearly indicate "enterovirus" on request. For dermal specimens on neonates (<1 month), clearly indicate "neonate for culture" on request.


For requests for cytomegalovirus on bone marrow or urine specimen, see:

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


For requests for herpes simplex virus/varicella-zoster virus 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


*Blood, lymph node tissue, and bone marrow/bone tissue specimens are unproductive and frequently toxic in culture. Most molecular methods are appropriate for these specimen types (exception is bone tissue). See individual real-time PCR assay test descriptions.


**Urine is acceptable only for mumps culture as noted in Specimen Type: Urine.specimen must clearly indicate "MUMPS" to ensure proper handling and test setup.


Forms: If not ordering electronically, submit a Microbiology Request Form (Supply T244) with the specimen.


Specimen source is required.


Specimen Type: Body fluid

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Specimen Type: Ocular or rectal

Container/Tube: Dacron-tipped swab with plastic handle (Supply T507)

Specimen Volume: Swab

Collection Instructions: Place swab in M5 viral transport media.

Additional Information:

1. Swab with a wood handle has been shown to be toxic to some viruses and is not acceptable for culture.

2. Gel swab is not acceptable for culture.


Specimen Type: Spinal fluid

Container/Tube: Sterile vial

Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Specimen Type: Stool

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 5-10 g


Specimen Type: Tissue

Sources: Brain, colon, kidney, liver, etc.

Container/Tube: Sterile container with 1-2 mL of sterile saline or multi-microbe medium (M5) (Supply T484)

Specimen Volume: Entire collection


Specimen Type: Urine (for mumps only)

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Specimen Minimum Volume Defines the amount of specimen required to perform an assay once, including instrument and container dead space. Submitting the minimum specimen volume makes it impossible to repeat the test or perform confirmatory or perform reflex testing. In some situations, a minimum specimen volume may result in a QNS (quantity not sufficient) result, requiring a second specimen to be collected.

Body Fluid or Spinal Fluid: 1 mL/Stool: 5 g/Urine: 0.5 mL/Tissue Biopsy: 5 mm

Reject Due To Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected








Gel swab, swab with wood handle, blood, bone marrow/bone tissue, lymph node, dermal, genital, oral, wound swab or tissue, or urine

Specimen Stability Information Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the laboratory. Alternate acceptable temperature(s) are also included.

Specimen TypeTemperatureTime
VariesRefrigerated7 days