Viral Respiratory PCR
Nucleic acid amplification assay (PCR) tests for the detection of one or more of the following:
- SARS-CoV-2 (Covid)
- Influenza A (Flu)
- Influenza B (Seasonal Flu)
- Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV).
Diagnosis of viral respiratory infection.
- Please take nasopharyngeal swab as shown here.
- 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.
Yellow topped Cobas swab (preferred)
Red/green topped viral swab
- For hospital patients:
- Follow Trust guidelines as on the HUB
- All samples need to be requested on EPIC
- If highly suspicious of infection but initial swabs are negative, repeat swab and request an extended panel to look for other causes.
- Only tested after agreement with a Consultant Microbiologist
- For community/GP/Primary Care patients:
- Flu/Covid/RSV testing NOT currently required in community cases
- Samples received will NOT be processed
- Please contact the laboratory to discuss with a Consultant Microbiologist prior to sending a sample if a Clinical need for testing is felt
- Tests are selected by the laboratory using information provided on the request; please state:
- Which viruses you want us to test for, either:
- SARS-CoV-2 Only
- SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A & Influenza B
- SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A, Influenza B & RSV
- If specific viruses are not indicated clinical details and test availability may determine what is tested for
- Patient clinical details – please include symptoms, details of foreign travel and any immunocompromise.
Please note we do not offer a private Covid-19 testing service.
Routine test (local test)
Only during routine opening hours (POCT testing available for urgent testing of ED/Admissions Out of Hours)
Urgent – within 2 hours of sample receipt (During routine opening hours)
Non-urgent – within 24 hours
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