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Respiratory virus PCR (Molecular Microbiology)

Respiratory screen including:

1) Influenza A inc H1N1 (avian types: contact lab)
2) Influenza B
3) Parainfluenza viruses 1,2,3
4) Respiratory syncytial virus
5) Metapneumovirus
6) Adenovirus
7) Rhinovirus

General information

Specimen type and container:

  • Nose and/or throat swab (virus transport medium)
  • BAL/Sputum (sterile container)
  • NPA (Sterile container)

Specimen transport: Ambient or refrigerated

Minimum volume of sample: Minimum volume 500┬Ál

Special precautions: For avian flu please contact the laboratory with full travel history

Laboratory information

Measurement units: Threshold cycle (CT)

Biological reference units: Not applicable

Turn round time for provisional result (working days): 2 days

Turn round time to final result (working days): 3 days

Clinical information

Clinical decision points: Not applicable

Factors known to significantly affect the results: All samples are suitable for overnight refrigeration only, they must not be stored over a weekend

False negative results may occur for a variety of reasons, for example inappropriate timing of sample collection, inappropriate sample, presence of virus below the detectable limit of the assay. New and emerging variants may also occur which may not be detected by this assay. Towards the limit of detection of an assay sampling variation will result in lower reproducibility.


In order to provide the most clinically beneficial, operationally efficient and cost effective service the laboratory employs a number of multiplex assays and testing algorithms, which are based on UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations; it is normal practice to use these even when not all tests within the multiplex or algorithm are requested.

It is our policy to report all results along with the requested result to provide as much information as possible to aid diagnosis


(Last reviewed October 24th 2017)