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Respiratory Viral PCR (POCT)


As of Thursday 18th April 2024 Point of Care Testing (POCT) for Respiratory Viruses has ceased for the 2023-34 season at the RD&E Hospital.

(Note: POCT testing still ongoing for Paediatrics at NDDH)

Please send any samples for testing to the Microbiology Laboratory – go to the Respiratory Viral PCR page for further information.


Nucleic acid amplification assay (PCR) tests for the detection of the following:

  • SARS-CoV-2 (Covid)
  • Influenza A (Flu)
  • Influenza B (Seasonal Flu)
  • Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV).


Point of Care Test (POCT) for the diagnosis of viral respiratory infection.


Nasopharyngeal swab

  • Test sensitivity is dictated by the amount of virus on the swab and is therefore influenced by:
    • (1) the timing of the test in relation to the symptoms and
    • (2) the quality of the sample (operator-dependent).
    • A result should be interpreted in light of the pre-test probability (severity of symptoms, their level of exposure, the disease in the contact); no test is 100% sensitive or specific.

Specimen container

Yellow topped Cobas swab

To Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘POCT Genexpert FLU/RSV/COVID PCR‘ or test code ‘LAB97061

Click here for more detailed instructions

Special Instructions

  • ONLY for use by trained staff in the POCT testing locations – you will need your own device login to use the analyser.

Click here for instructions on how to use the POCT analysers


POCT is currently LIVE in the following locations:

  • RD&E – PAU, ED, AMU, Yarty
  • NDDH – ED, Paediatrics

POCT is only for the use of patients in the above locations – all other areas should send their samples to Microbiology for testing – click here for details

Processing time

Once loaded on the analyser the test takes 35-40min to run.


Cepheid GeneXpert

PLEASE NOTE: This test/procedure is not currently included in the defined scope of the laboratory’s UKAS Accreditation, (ISO15189) schedule.

This test has passed internal laboratory verification and been reviewed clinically prior to being brought into use.

Useful Links

For Patients:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing – Lab Tests Online

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS

Influenza (Flu) Tests – Lab Tests Online

Flu – NHS

RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) – Lab Tests Online

Specimen Labelling Procedure
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