Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
Detection of Influenza A and B.
A negative test does not rule out infection. The specimen must be taken at the appropriate time during infection and properly stored and transported; if optimum conditions are not met, the viral agents may not be detected in the presence of an infection.
1 day (6 hours for UM inpatients and ED)
- INFLUENZA VIRUS (A,B); PCR
SWAB: Use flocked swab, dacron or rayon swab to obtain specimen and place into M4-RT transport medium. Refrigerate. NASAL WASH: Use a 1 oz rubber bulb containing 3 - 5 mL of sterile preservative-free saline and rapidly instill and aspirate the contents from a nostril in a single motion. Empty material into M4-RT transport medium (preferred) or sterile container and close cap tightly. Refrigerate. NASAL ASPIRATE: Gently insert a number 5 - 8 French pediatric-feeding tube attached to a suction strap through both nostrils into the nasopharynx. Aspirate contents into M4-RT transport medium and close cap tightly. Refrigerate. BAL FLUID: Place in sterile cup and refrigerate. M6-RT or UTM transport media is also acceptable. Deliver all specimen types to the laboratory as soon as possible. The possibility for virus isolation decreases as the length of storage time increases. Many viral agents will survive at room temperature for several hours; however, for optimum recovery of viruses, please refrigerate; do not freeze.
Specimen will be held for a minimum of 2 weeks to allow additional testing to be added as needed.