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Influenza A and B, Real-time RT-PCR

Test ID: 


CPT code:



Flu A/B

Clinical Use:

Confirm presence of influenza A or influenza B

Specimen Type:

Nasopharyngeal swab, nasal swab, throat swab, or combined throat/nasopharyngeal swab

Requested Volume: 

One swab

Container Type: 

Viral, Chlamydia, or Mycoplasma culture transport or other appropriate transport medium

Patient Preparation: 

Patients should be instructed and guided to hold their head back at a 45° angle to facilitate passage of the swab through the nares and into the nasopharynx


Specimen should be collected during acute phase of the disease, ideally within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. Guide the flexible (ideally a flocked rather than wound) swab into the contour of the nares and into the nasopharynx. Leave in place 15 to 30 seconds, rotate and remove. Place swab in viral transport.
Throat swab: Carefully rub the posterior nasopharynx with a dry sterile swab (preferably the “flocked swab”). Avoid touching the tongue or buccal mucosa. Place swab in viral transport.

Storage Instructions:


Stability Requirements:




7 days


7 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x2

Rejection Criteria

Bacterial swab transport; source other than those listed above; grossly leaking transport container; dry specimen; specimen submitted in fixatives; specimen in other than a suitable viral transport device; specimen received after a prolonged delay; unlabeled specimen

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