You are here

Laboratory Services

To the right, specific information for submitters is provided including acceptable specimen types, minimum sample volume, packaging and shipping information and a description of the testing performed.

Below please find general information about the viruses tested including a description of the disease, transmission, whether or not a vaccine is available and geographic and seasonal distribution.

VIRUSES

Adenovirus

Disease:

Upper respiratory tract disease with fever, nasal congestion, and sore throat with cough. Some serotypes can cause gastroenteritis with diarrhea, vomiting and fever, while others can cause conjunctivitis and keratoconjunctivitis.

Transmission:

Via the fecal-oral route through droplets or contact with objects contaminated with virus

Vaccination:

No widespread use; a vaccine against some types has been given to military personnel in other countries

Age Association:

All ages, often young children

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall
  4. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swabs, stool, rectal swabs, urine, eye swabs, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; neutralization for serotyping
Molecular: Real-time and conventional PCR; Genmark RVP (Subgroups B & C, and E)

Coxsackie Virus

Disease:

Mild upper respiratory disease or flu-like illness with fever and muscle aches; rash illness (hand, foot and mouth disease); encephalitis; herpangina (Coxsackie A); pleurodynia (Coxsackie B)

Transmission:

Via the fecal-oral route and during the acute stage by the respiratory route

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

All ages, often young children

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Summer
  2. Fall

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swabs, stool, rectal swabs, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; immunofluroescence assay for typing
Molecular: Real-time and conventional RT-PCR

Cytomegalovirus

Disease:

Often asymptomatic; mild mononucleosis-like illness with fever and malaise; multiple organ disease (immunosuppressed patients); retinitis and polyradiculomyelopathy (AIDS patients); cytomegalic inclusion disease (fetus or transplanted tissues and organs); encephalitis. Infection results in latency. Periodic reactivation with disease is usually only seen in immunosuppressed patients.

Transmission:

Close physical contact, infected semen, blood transfusions. Maternal-fetal (from a reactivation or primary infection) and perinatal via cervical secretions or milk

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

All age groups, but most often infants and young children

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall
  4. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Urine, bronchoalveolar lavage, blood, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture
Molecular: Real time and conventional PCR

Enterovirus (Including Coxsackie and Echovirus)

Disease:

Mild upper respiratory disease or flu-like illness with fever and muscle aches; rash illness (hand, foot and mouth disease); fever and muscle aches, followed by paralysis (polio virus); herpangina (Coxsackie A); pleurolynia (Coxsackie B) and encephalitis

Transmission:

Via the fecal-oral route, oral-oral route, respiratory route, and fomite

Vaccination:

Vaccine is available only for poliovirus

Age Association:

All ages, often young children

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swabs, stool, rectal swabs, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; immunofluorescence assay for subtyping
Molecular: Real-time and conventional RT-PCR

Hantavirus

Disease:

The Virology Laboratory no longer offers testing for Hantavirus. Please contact Diagnostic Immunology for information on forwarding specimens to the CDC.

Transmission:

Vaccination:

Age Association:

Geographic Distribution:

Seasonal Distribution:

Preferred Specimens:

Test Methods:

Culture:
Molecular:

Herpes simplex viruses Types I and II (HSV 1,2)

Disease:

Vesicular disease characterized by lesions in or around the mouth or genital region; fever and malaise; encephalitis. Infection results in latency with periodic reactivation.

Transmission:

Oral herpes is contracted by direct physical contact. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease.

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

Oral herpes: all ages; genital herpes: beginning at age of sexual activity

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall
  4. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Vesicle/lesion swab, genital swab, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; immunofluorescence for confirmation and typing
Molecular: Real time PCR

Human metapneumovirus (hMPV)

Disease:

Acute upper and/or lower respiratory tract infection with fever and cough. More severe in infants and young children, most likely presenting as bronchiolitis or pneumonia. May cause secondary bacterial infection and is difficult to distinguish from RSV and other respiratory viral infections in children.

Transmission:

Via the respiratory route by aerosols

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

Infants and young children are most commonly affected. In adults presents as influenza-like illness or pneumonia.

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab; bronchial wash

Test Methods:

Culture:
Molecular: Real-time RT-PCR; Genmark RVP

Influenza Viruses A and B

Disease:

Lower respiratory disease characterized by sudden onset of fever and malaise; possible secondary bacterial infections and encephalitis

Transmission:

Via aerosols

Vaccination:

Vaccine should be administered yearly. Inactivated influenza vaccine is administered by injection to those over 6 months old. Live attenuated virus is administered by nasal spray to healthy individuals 5 - 49 years old.

Age Association:

All ages

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab, bronchial wash, and CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; hemadsorbtion assay. Serology is performed by the Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory.
Molecular: Real-time RT-PCR; conventional RT-PCR for subtyping; Genmark RVP; sequencing for strain analysis (selected samples only)

Measles Virus

Disease:

Highly contagious upper respiratory disease characterized by a maculopapular rash, fever, cough, or conjunctivitis; encephalitis

Transmission:

Respiratory secretions by direct contact, droplets, or airborne aerosols

Vaccination:

Available

Age Association:

Children

Geographic Distribution:

•World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab, bronchial wash, or nasal swab, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; hemadsorbtion assay; immunofluorescence assay
Molecular: Real-time and conventional RT-PCR

Mumps Virus

Disease:

Acute and painful enlargement of the parotid salivary glands with slight/moderate fever. Most common complications include meningitis and orchitis

Transmission:

Inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

Usually given to children at 15-24 months

Age Association:

Most common in unvaccinated children 5-7 years of age. Usually asymptomatic in infants and very young children.

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Throat swab near areas around Stensen's ducts, urine, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; hemadsorbtion assay; immunofluorescence for confirmation
Molecular: Real-time and conventional RT-PCR

Parainfluenza Viruses 1-4 (PIV 1-4)

Disease:

Acute respiratory tract disease with slight fever, malaise, cough, and hoarseness. Most common cause of croup. May cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

Transmission:

Close contact with infected person or inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

None to date

Age Association:

Children under 5 years- lower respiratory tract infection. Causes upper respiratory tract infection in infants, children and adults.

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Fall
  3. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab; bronchial wash

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture; hemadsorbtion assay; immunofluorescence for detection and typing
Molecular: Genmark RVP (Para 1,2,3)

Parvovirus B19

Disease:

Erythema infectiosum (EI), or fifth disease that typically appears as a mild rash illness with possible low fever, headache, malaise, and muscle pain. Rash characteristic of "slapped cheek" appearance with lace-like eruption on trunk and extremities. Can cause non-immune hydrops fetalis and spontaneous abortion.

Transmission:

Inhalation of virus-containing aerosols. Maternal-fetal infection can occur.

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

Primarily school children aged 5-13 years

Geographic Distribution:

Worldwide, with epidemics occurring every 3-5 years.

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Serum (acute or convalescent)

Test Methods:

Culture:
Molecular: Real time and conventional PCR

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Disease:

Acute respiratory tract infection with fever, cough, runny nose, and fatigue. Usually presents in infants and young children as either bronchiolitis or pneumonia.

Transmission:

Contact with infectious material or inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

None

Age Association:

Infants and young children (lower respiratory tract infection); older children and adults (upper respiratory tract infection caused by reinfection)

Geographic Distribution:

Worldwide, with epidemics occurring every 3-5 years.

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab; bronchial wash

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture. Antigen detection: EIA for direct antigen detection
Molecular: Real-time RT-PCR; Genmark RVP

Rhinovirus

Disease:

Most frequent cause of the common cold, with symptoms of low-grade fever, headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and cough. Secondary bacterial infections can occur.

Transmission:

Close contact with infected person or inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

None

Age Association:

All age groups

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Fall

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; throat swab; nasal swab

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture (by request)
Molecular: Real-time RT-PCR; Genmark RVP

Rotavirus

Disease:

Acute gastroenteritis with high-grade fever, diarrhea, and vomiting

Transmission:

Via the fecal-oral route

Vaccination:

Available – FDA approved since 2006

Age Association:

Young children, usually between the ages of 6 months and 3 years

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Stool without additives or preservatives

Test Methods:

Culture: None
Molecular: Real time RT-PCR

Rubella Virus (German Measles)

Disease:

Mild disease presenting with rash, fever, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. Congenital infection may result in spontaneous abortion or severe malformation.

Transmission:

Inhalation of virus-containing aerosols. Maternal-fetal infection can occur.

Vaccination:

Available

Age Association:

Young children, usually between the ages of 6 months and 3 years

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer

Preferred Specimens:

Urine; throat swab; nasopharyngeal swab, wash, or aspirate; oropharyngeal swab or bronchial wash. Blood or stool is also acceptable.

Test Methods:

Culture: None
Molecular: Real time RT-PCR

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-coronavirus)

Disease:

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) characterized by high fever, headache, and body aches; atypical pneumonia; severe respiratory disease that is often fatal

Transmission:

Close contact with an infected person, direct contact with infectious material, or inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

None available at this time

Age Association:

All ages

Geographic Distribution:

Currently, there is no known SARS transmission anywhere in the world

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Nasopharyngeal aspirate, nasopharyngeal swab, oropharyngeal swab, bronchial wash

Test Methods:

Culture: None
Molecular: Real time RT-PCR

Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)

Disease:

Chickenpox (Varicella): Primary infection-highly contagious systemic infection presenting with fever and an itchy, generalized vesicular rash. Secondary staphylococcal and streptococcal skin infections can occur. Shingles (Zoster): Reactivation of latent VZV- painful vesicular rash, usually limited to one dermatome, most common on the thorax, neck, and face. Post-herpetic neuralgia. Encephalitis can also occur.

Transmission:

Varicella: Direct contact with skin lesions, inhalation of virus-containing aerosols

Vaccination:

Available

Age Association:

Varicella: primarily young children. Zoster: older or immunocompromised adults

Geographic Distribution:

World wide

Seasonal Distribution:

  1. Spring
  2. Summer
  3. Fall
  4. Winter

Preferred Specimens:

Vesicular or lesion swab, CSF

Test Methods:

Culture: Conventional tube culture with immunofluorescence for confirmation
Molecular: Real time PCR and conventional RT-PCR