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    Laboratory Services Section
    MC 1947
    PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 W. 49th Street
    Austin, TX 78756-3199

    Phone: (512) 776-7318
    Fax: (512) 776-7294

    Phone Us Toll Free at:
    (888) 963-7111, ext. 7318

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Laboratory Services Section - Viral Specimen Collection by Type of Specimen

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Specimen Collection Information Table
   
Specimen Collection

Specimens for viral isolation:  Do not freeze any specimen submitted for electron microscopy. Do not freeze any specimen submitted for CMV isolation unless a viral cryoprotective agent such as 2SP is used. Specimens submitted for Varicella Zoster isolation must be received at the DSHS Laboratory cold, on ice packs, within 12 hours of collection, or freeze and ship on dry ice. Please refer to Specimen Submission and Selection for specific acceptance critieria.

Fluids Collection Representative Viruses
Blood Collect 5-10 ml in sterile tube Arbovirus
CSF Collect 2-5 ml in sterile container Enterovirus, HSV, mumps virus, arbovirus
Pericardial Fluid Collect at least 2 ml in sterile container Coxsackie B virus
Saliva Collect saliva with 1 or 2 swabs from anterior floor of mouth and near Stenson’s ducts. Place swabs into viral transport media (VTM). Mumps virus
Urine Collect 10-20 ml of midstream clean-voided urine in sterile container. Adenovirus, CMV, HSV, measles virus, mumps virus, rubella virus
 
 
Gastrointestinal Collection Representative Viruses
Rectal swab Insert swab 2-3" into rectum and roll swab against mucosa. Place swab into VTM. Adenovirus, enterovirus, HSV
Stool Place 2-4 g (walnut-size) into a clean, leakproof container. Adenovirus, enterovirus, reovirus
 
 
Genitourinary Collection Representative Viruses
Cervical swab Remove exocervical mucus with swab and discard swab. Insert fresh swab at least 1 cm into cervical canal, and rotate swab for 10 s. Place into VTM. HSV
 
 
Lesion (dermal) Collection Representative Viruses
Swab Wipe vesicle with saline. Disrupt vesicle, and collect fluid with swab. With same swab, collect cells from base of lesion. For nonvesicular lesions, collect cells from base of lesion by using swab premoistened with saline. Place swab into VTM. Coxsackie A virus, echovirus, HSV, poxvirus, VZV
Vesicle aspirate Wipe area with sterile saline. Aspirate fluid from vesicle with 26- or 27- guage needle attached to tuberculin syringe, and rinse syringe immediately with 1-2 ml of VTM. Coxsackie A virus, echovirus, HSV, poxvirus, VZV
 
 
Lesion (mucosal) Collection Representative Viruses
Swab Swab back and forth over lesion, and place swab into VTM. Oral: Coxsackie A virus, HSV

Anogenital: HSV

 
 
Ocular Collection Representative Viruses
Conjunctival swab Swab lower conjunctiva with flexible fine-shafted swab premoistened with saline. Place swab into VTM. Adenovirus, coxsackie A virus, CMV, enterovirus type 70, HSV
Corneal or conjunctival scraping Place scraping into VTM. Specimen should be obtained only by ophthamologist or other trained individual Entervirus, adenovirus, HSV, VZV
 
 
Respiratory Collection Representative Viruses
Bronchoalveolar lavage Place 8 - 10 ml in sterile container. From all respiratory specimens:

Adenovirus, CMV, enterovirus, HSV, influenza virus, measles virus, mumps virus, parainfluenza virus, rabies virus, RSV, reovirus, rhinovirus, rubella virus, VZV

Nasal swab Insert flexible fine-shafted swab into nostril, rotate swab, and let it rest for several seconds to absorb secretion. Place into VTM. Use separate swabs for each nostril. Both swabs may be placed into the same transport tube.
Nasopharyngeal aspirate Using mucous collection device, insert appropriate sized catheter nasally into posterior nasopharynx. Apply suction, using intermitten suction as catheter is withdrawn. Wash aspirate through tubing with 5-8 ml of VTM, and transfer material from trap to sterile tube.
Nasopharyngeal swab Insert flexible fine-shafted swab through nostril into nasopharynx, and rotate swab gently a few times. Place into VTM
Pleural fluid Place at least 2 ml in sterile container.
Throat swab Vigorously swab tonsillar area and posterior nasopharynx. Use tongue blade to depress tongue to prevent contamination of swab with saliva. Place swab into VTM.
 
 
Tissues Collection Representative Viruses
All Tissues Place small samples (e.g., lung biopsy specimens) into VTM to prevent drying. Place larger specimens (1-2 g; e.g., autopsy tissues) into sterile containers. Add 8-10 ml of VTM to prevent drying. Arbovirus, CMV, enterovirus, HSV, influenza virus, RSV, parainfluenza virus
 

 

 

 
   
 

 

Last updated January 17, 2014