This procedure wil not reliably detect cytomegalovirus (CMV), enteroviruses, noroviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and varicella zoster (VZV), Comprehensive Virus Detection (CVD) or the individual PCR test is recommended. See CYPCR, EVCR, NOPCR, RSPCR and VVPCR.
CVD is strongly recommended for blood, any body fluid, bronchoalveolar lavage/wash, and aspirates. Urine specimens are acceptable for Mumps detection only. CSF is not acceptable for Virus Culture.

Specimen Required
Specimen source required.
Biopsy/tissue specimens in saline or viral transport medium, non-respiratory. (snap frozen -20°C).
Body fluids undiluted in sterile leak-proof container. 2.0 mL, non-respiratory (1.0 mL minimum).
Stool in sterile leak-proof container, 2.0 mL (1.0 mL minimum). Liquid stool or marble size solid stool. Stool in Cary blair medium.
Undiluted urine in sterile leak-proof container, 2.0 mL (1.0 mL minimum), for Mumps only.
Blood in EDTA (lavender top) tube, 3.0 mL (2.0 mL minimum). Note: CVD is the preferred method.

Alternate Specimen
The Laboratory Director or Supervisor must approve testing of specimens other than those listed above.

Rejection Criteria
CSF - Please reorder as Comprehensive Virus Detection (CVD).
Urine specimens for culture other than Mumps or Measles virus - Please reorder as CVD.
Urine (for Mumps) in Grey-Top (boric acid) urine vacutainers.
Rectal swabs or stool preserved in formalin, SAF, or PVA.
Stool specimens received with diapers, tissue paper, tongue depressors, sticks, and other objects containing stool.
Specimens in Amplicor, EIA, Gen-Probe, or ProbeTec transport media.
Specimens in bacterial transport media, Stewart medium (Culturette) and specimens in bacteriological blood culture media.
Dry swabs, wooden swabs, calcium alginate swabs, and swabs in gel transports.
Tissues received in transport media that has not been frozen (-20°C).
Any specimen other than tissues frozen at temperatures warmer than -70°C.
Specimens received in non-sterile or leaking containers.
Swab specimen (respiratory) in viral transport medium.
Nasal washes (respiratory) in sterile, leak proof plastic container.
Nasal aspirates (respiratory) in vacuum trap.
Bronchoalveolar lavage/wash (respiratory) in sterile leak-proof container.

Standard tube cultures, hemagglutination, hemadsorption, acid lability testing, virus neutralization, polymerase chain reaction and/or monoclonal antibody staining. Viruses that can be isolated include most Adenoviruses, most Enteroviruses, Herpes simplex virus, Influenza A and B, Measles virus, Mumps Virus, Parainfluenza (1, 2 and 3), Respiratory syncytial virus and Rhinovirus.

Room Temperature (18-25°C): 4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C): 7 days (except tissues)
Frozen (-20°C): Do Not Freeze at -20°C (except tissues);
Frozen (-70°C): Do Not Freeze at -70°C (except tissues)
Tissue and Biopsy Only
Room Temperature (18-25°C): 4 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C): Not Acceptable
Frozen (-20°C): 1 month
Frozen (-70°C): 3 months

Reference Range
No growth


Turnaround TimeUp to 14 days
Test CodeVC
CPT-4 Code (s)
87252 Culture inoculation, plus
87253 Identification, if performed, at additional cost