Update Type: Test Discontinued
Test Updated: 05/10/2023
Test Overview
Test Methodology

Cell Culture

Test Usage

Diagnosing viral infections.

Reference Range *

Negative. If positive, virus is identified.

* Reference ranges may change over time. Please refer to the original patient report when evaluating results.

Test Limitations

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 culture include Epstein-Barr virus, rubella virus, and papilloma virus), and nonviable organisms submitted. Parainfluenza virus type 4 may also not be detected by viral culture.

Test Details
Days Set Up
Analytic Time

14 days

Soft Order Code
MiChart Code
Viral Culture, Respiratory (Sendout)
  • CMV Culture
  • Herpes simplex shell vial
  • HSV Culture
  • Cytomegalovirus Culture
  • Cytomegalovirus shell vial
  • Adenovirus Culture
  • Enterovirus Culture
  • Herpes simplex Culture
  • Influenza virus Culture
  • Parainfluenza (types 1-3) Culture
  • Respiratory syncytial virus Culture
  • Varicella zoster Culture
  • VZV Culture
Reference Laboratory
Special Testing
Specimen Requirements

SWAB: collect throat swab specimen using dacron or rayon swab with an aluminum or plastic shaft; do not use swab with calcium alginate tip or wooden shaft. Place swab in in M5 transport and refrigerate. FLUID: place 1 mL bronchial lavage, broncial washings or aspirates, tracheal secretions or sputum, or other lower respiratory tract specimen in a sterile tube or container and refrigerate. TISSUE: place lung or other tissue in a sterile container with 1-2 mL of sterile saline or M5 transport media and refrigerate.

Storage Temperature
Additional Information

All routine viral cultures are inoculated into cell culture tubes for viral detection. Most common specimens received for routine testing include bronchoalveolar lavage, sputum, and throat. A rapid (16-hour incubation) shell vial cell culture assay will be inoculated when specimens are designated for herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus detection or as appropriate for source indicated. Test sent to Mayo Medical Laboratories.

CPT Code
Fee Code