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Test ID: VRESP    
Viral Culture, 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.

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


Suspect mumps and measles cases should be referred directly to a state health department laboratory for testing. The viral cell culture methods utilized at Mayo Medical Laboratories may recover mumps virus, but specific testing for this virus is not performed. If a sample from a suspected case of mumps is submitted to Mayo Medical Laboratories, it must clearly indicate "mumps" on the order request.


Specimen source is required. Specimen must be transported at refrigerate temperature.


Specimen Type: Lower respiratory tract specimens such as bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial washings or aspirates, tracheal secretions or sputum

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Specimen Type: Throat


Preferred: BBL CultureSwab (Supply T092)

Acceptable: Dacron-tipped swab with plastic handle (Supply T507)

Specimen Volume: Swab

Collection Instructions: Return swab to swab cylinder or multi-microbe medium (M5) (Supply T484).

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: Tissue

Sources: Lung and others
Sterile container with 1-2 mL of sterile saline or M5 (Supply T484)

Specimen Volume: Entire collection

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.


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








Frozen, gel swab, swab with wooden handle, oral specimen (unless parotid gland, secretion, or requests for enterovirus), lymph node swab or tissue, bone marrow or bone tissue, wound swab or tissue

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