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  • Cuture: Viral PCR/NAA Collection Methods

Viral PCR/NAA Collection Methods

Specimen TypeCollection Method
Note: Submit ALL specimens to Lab ASAP.  (Provides for optimum recovery of nucleic acid)
Fluids 1-2 ml in a sterile container and deliver to the laboratory immediately.
NP Aspirate Place the #5 french feeding catheter containing the specimen into a sterile container.  Deliver to the lab immediately
NP Swabs Swab of posterior nasopharynx inserted into a transport tube and delivered to the laboratory immediately - see NP Swab Collection Video
Rectal Swabs Perirectal swabs only; place in viral transport medium or deliver to the laboratory immediately.  No wooden-shafted or cotton swabs.
Stool Fresh specimen in a sterile container and delivered to the laboratory immediately.
Throat Swabs Ask patient to open mouth and stick their tongue out; use tongue spatula to press the tongue downward to floor of the mouth; use sterile cotton swab both of the tonsillar arches and the posterior nasopharynx, without touching the sides of the mouth; insert swab into same transport tube containing nose swab, break off shaft and recap tube firmly. No wooden-shafted or cotton swabs.
Tissues Place in sterile container without medium and deliver to the laboratory immediately.  Do not allow to dry out(add a small amount of sterile non-bacteriostatic saline if needed) or place directly in viral transport medium.
Urine Place 1-2 ml in sterile urine container and deliver to the laboratory immediately. NOTE: For Chlamydia trachomatis and/or Neisseria gonorrhea - collect FIRST STREAM, 2-30ml.
Vesicular Fluid Choose fresh vesicles which have not begun to crust, and which do not contain purulent material.  Cleanse the surface skin with cotton moistened in sterile saline.  Open the vesicles with a scalpel, and collect fluid on a sterile white-capped swab. No wooden-shafted or cotton swabs.

Reviewed by jcayless on January 02, 2018

Note: Reference ranges provided on this web site are for guidance only, and may not reflect the most recent changes. Refer to laboratory reports for current reference data.

UNC Hospitals
McLendon Clinical Laboratories
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

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