BK Virus

BK and JC Virus

Test Name:  

BK Virus

Alternate Name (s):  


Laboratory Module:  


Ordering Mnemonic:  


Specimen Type:   

Cerebral Spinal Fluid

Collection Container:  

Sterile CSF conical tubes


Collection Information:  

Tube 1- Glucose and protein

Tube 2- Microbiology (other tests)

Tube 3- Cell Count (Microbiology is x4 tubes collected)

Tube 4- Cell Count

The last tube collected will be processed for the cell count


Lumbar Puncture

Clean the puncture site with antiseptic solution and alcohol before needle insertion. Insert a needle with stylet at the L3-L4, L4-L5 or L5-LS interspace. When subarachnoid space is reached, remove stylet and spinal fluid will appear in the needle hub. Slowly drain CSF into sterile tubes.

Shunt Fluid

Clean the reservoir site with antiseptic solution and alcohol. Collect fluid through the reservoir unit and place it in a sterile tube.
Indicate method of collection on requisition.

Suggested Volumes:

Routine Culture (C&S) - 2 mL

Fungus Culture - 2 mL

Mycobacterium Culture - 2 mL

Virus Culture - 2 mL

Test Schedule:  

Monday thru Friday Send-Out

Turnaround Time:  


7 days

Stat / Urgent


Reference Interval:  


Critical Values:  

Gram stain results will be called to the physician as soon as it is available. As growth is detected and identified the information is made available to the health care provider.

Lab Process Notes :  

Test is only orderable by Dr Pennie

If the specimen is taken STAT (after hours), if the CSF has a white blood cell count of greater then 10 or elevated protein or decreased glucose, it is considered an abnormal screen and a technologist will be called back to process the specimen, otherwise the specimen will be processed at 7:00am the following morning.

Note: always send the most turbid tube to Microbiology.

Note: Specimen description and total quantity will be recorded for the CSF

The supernate/extra specimen will be frozen in the -70'C freezer for approximately 6 months.

Storage & Transport:  

The specimen should be delivered to the laboratory STAT, with no delay and should not be transported through the automated delivery system.

Must be separated and store frozen

Test Referred to :   

St Joseph's Hospital via Laboratory Reference Center

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