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Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services


Laboratory: Immunology/Virology and Molecular Detection and Characterization

Test Description: Direct and Indirect fluorescent antibody tests are useful in examining original specimens as well as identifying tissue culture isolates. These methods may be used to detect the presence of a viral agent from a large variety of viral agents or identify a specific viral serotype from other closely related serotypes.

Monoclonal antibodies are employed in Direct Fluorescent Antibody (DFA) and Indirect fluorescent Antibody (IFA) as well as conventional polyclonal antibodies. These are usually components of commercially produced identification kits which have undergone extensive testing by manufacturers and are usually Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. Always refer to and be familiar with the protocol of the specific manufacturer's kit insert before beginning any procedure.

Order Approval Required? no

Specimen Type:

  • Autopsy/Biopsy/Fresh Tissues
  • Buccal Swabs
  • Cerebrospinal Fluids
  • Stool
  • Throat, Nasal, Nasopharyngeal Washes and Swabs; Bronchoalveolar Lavages (BAL) and Bronchial Washes; Eye Swabs or Washes and Saliva
  • Urine
  • Vesicular Lesions
  • Viral Isolates

Collection Container: Viral Transport media (VTM)

Optimal Volume: 3ml

Collection Guidelines: Specimens should be obtained early in the course of illness, when the viral titer is highest, but viral shedding depends on the type of virus and the degree of systemic involvement. Specimens should be collected using Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) provided viral transport media, but exceptions can be made. Store specimens at 2°C to 8°C until shipped to the laboratory and shipment should arrive within
72 hours of collection. Autopsy tissues should arrive within 48 hours of collection. If a sample cannot arrive within the expected time, it should be frozen at -70°C or colder. Repeated freezing and thawing of specimens should be avoided. All samples must be shipped with frozen cold packs.

Storage Container: in DCLS-supplied Viral Transport media (VTM)

Storage Instructions: Samples should be stored at 2 to 8 °C until shipped to the laboratory. Positive viral aliquots are stored in a -70°C freezer for 6 months.

Transportation Instructions: Samples should be refrigerated prior to and during shipping. Samples should be shipped w/in 72 hrs of collection or frozen before 72 hours.

Test Methodology: Direct Fluorescent Antibody (DFA) and Indirect fluorescent Antibody (IFA)

Additional Information: If specimen is collected on Friday, holiday or weekend, contact lab at 804-648-4480 ext. 271 prior to submission
Specimens should be collected as close to onset as possible. Specimen must be received in lab within 72 hours of collection

Causes For Rejection:

  • Quantity not sufficient for testing
  • Improperly labeled specimen
  • Out of holding time

Possible Results: 1. No virus isolated 2. Specific virus isolated