Clinical Specimen Submission Guidance

Submit all specimens to 50 Orms St, Providence RI 02915. Open Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Influenza Virus

Lab Molecular Diagnostics & Enteric Pathogens 401-222-5538
Organism Influenza Virus
Disease Influenza
Test Description RT-PCR for detection of Influenza
Special Instructions

SPECIMENS ARE ONLY ACCEPTED FROM DESIGNATED RI SENTINEL SITES THAT ARE APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CENTER FOR ACUTE INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMIOLOGY (401) 222-2577.

ALL OTHER LABORATORIES MUST OBTAIN PREAUTHORIZATION FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CENTER FOR ACUTE INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND EPIDEMIOLOGY PRIOR TO SENDING SPECIMENS.

Specimen

Refer to the Influenza Sentinel Protocol for specimen collection.

Specimen Type:

Collect nasopharyngeal specimens with a flexible wire shaft nasopharyngeal (NP) swab

Collect throat specimens with a plastic shaft swab with a polyester, Dacron or rayon tip

The NP swab and the throat swab can be placed in the same tube of VTM

After specimen is obtained, inoculate the tube of Viral Transport Media (VTM) by inserting the swab into the tube making certain that the liquid in the tube covers the swab tip. The shaft should be clipped equal with the top of the tube. Refrigerate until transport.

Submit the following in Viral Transport Medium (dilute specimen 1:2 with VTM)

  • Nasal Aspirate
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage
  • Tracheal (EndoTracheal) Aspirate

CLIA regulations require two patient identifiers on the specimen container and the test requisition

Form Required

Rhode Island State Health Laboratories (RISHL) test requisition form.

Test Request Write "FLU" in comment field on requisition form.
Transport

Transport to the RI State Health Laboratories on ice packs. Specimens may be refrigerated at 2-8C for up to 72 hours. If unable to transport within 72 hours, the specimen must be frozen at -70C.

All submissions must be properly packaged in accordance with current federal shipping regulations. Containers specifically labeled for transport of specimens and isolates to the RI State Health Laboratories Molecular Diagnostics and Enteric Pathogens Laboratory are available in all microbiology labs and send out departments.

Normal Value PCR Negative for Influenza A and B
Turnaround Time PCR result within 48 to 96 hours