Novel Coronavirus Real-Time RT-PCR

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure #:  MCN0310A

CPT:  87798

Novel Coronavirus Real-Time RT-PCR
Synonym(s): Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) PCR
Requisition Form G-2V
Test Description Testing of suspected Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) specimens to detect the presence or absence of MERS coronavirus RNA in symptomatic patients that meet current epidemiological criteria.
Pre-Approval Needed Contact your local or state epidemiologist if MERS-CoV is suspected.  Contact information can be found at the following link:  
Supplemental Information Required Yes
Supplemental Form(s) Patient Under Investigation (PUI) form
Performed on Specimens from (sources) Human
Sample/Specimen Type for Testing Nasopharyngeal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates/washes, serum.
Minimum Volume/Size Required 1-2 mL
Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping Keep cold or freeze. Serum should be poured over in a separate tube.
Transport Medium Viral transport media (VTM) or universal transport media (UTM) for swabs.
Specimen Labeling Tube must have two forms of identification, preferably full name and DOB.
Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

•   If specimens will arrive at the lab within 72 hours of collection, refrigerate at 2-8 ̊C and ship overnight on cold packs.

•   If specimens will arrive at the lab more than 72 hours after time of collection, freeze at   -70 ̊C and ship overnight on dry ice.

Method Real-time RT-PCR
Turn-around Time 2 business days

•   False negative may result if specimen is improperly collected, transported, or handled.

•   Detection of viral RNA does not imply that the corresponding virus is infectious or is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.

•   A negative result does not preclude infection.

Causes for Rejection Information on the form and tube do not match, failure to put two forms of identification on tube, specimen received cold greater than 72 hours after collection, specimen received ambient, submission of incorrect specimen type.
Additional Information These specimens should only be handled under BSL-3 conditions.  Please contact the Emerging and Acute Infectious Disease Branch at 512-776-7676 if MERS CoV is suspected. 

Last updated November 5, 2018