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Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus and RSV virus, by PCR (8000100029)
Test Mnemonic:
Specimen Requirements:

Nasopharyngeal swab: insert fine-tip Dacron or flocked swab past nasal turbinates into posterior nasopharynx. Turn swab several times and remove.

Nasal wash/aspirate: introduce 1-2 ml of sterile saline into the nose using a sterile bulb, and immediately apply suction to collect saline plus secretions.  Alternatively, for older patients, tilt patient’s head back; pour 1-2 ml of sterile saline from a cup into a nostril, while the patient is humming (to avoid swallowing the saline).  Return patient’s head to normal position, while keeping the cup under the nose to collect secretions. Must be added to UTM within 6 hours.


Universal Transport Medium (UTM)

Minimum Volume:



Keep specimens cold and transport on ice.

Specimen Preparation:

Place swab in Unversal Transport Medium (UTM).  Fluids (aspirate or wash) should be collected in a sterile container and added to UTM within 6 hours of collection.


15-30'C up to 24 hours. 2-8'C up to 7 days.

Causes for Rejection:

Inappropriate source.  Prolonged storage at room temperature. Repeat samples. Specimens received in non-sterile containers. Wooden swabs. Specimen container unlabeled or labeled incorrectly. No date and time of collection on requisition form.

Reference Range:

Not detected

Turnaround Time:

Test is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week with results available within 3 hours of receipt of the sample in Microbiology.


 Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction


Clinical Microbiology


Influenza A virus; Influenza B virus; RSV virus; PCR, Respiratory Viruses; Respiratory Viruses, PCR

Clinical Indication:

Differential diagnosis of respiratory disease caused by Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus, or Respiratory Syncytial  virus.

Patient Preparation :

 Nasopharyngeal swab or nasal aspirate/wash

CPT 4 Code:



Universal Transport Medium (UTM) available from Materials Management (#18108).

All three viruses are tested and reported with this test method.

Subtyping for Influenza A available upon approval of Microbiology Lab  Director

When ordering tests for which Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement will be sought, physicians should only order tests that are medically necessary for the diagnosis or treatment of the patient. Components of the organ or disease panels may be ordered individually. The diagnostic information must substantiate all tests ordered and must be in the form of an ICD-10 code or its verbal equivalent.
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