Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antigen (RSV)

Test Name:  

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Antigen

Alternate Name (s):  


Laboratory Module:  


Ordering Mnemonic:  


Only pediatric in-patients; of less then five years of age will be tested on-site, all other specimens will be sent to public health.

In addition all RSV will have a VIRUS culture ordered and further testing will be done at public health.

Specimen Type:   

Nasopharyngeal Swab

Collection Container:  

Copan Flocked Swab


Collection Information:  

Nasopharyngeal Specimen Collection

Patients head should be inclined from vertical to about 70%

Insert flexible wire nasopharyngeal swab into one nostril.

Press the swab tip on the mucosal surface of the mid-inferior turbinate.

Rub swab back and forth about 5 times.

Leave swab in place for a few seconds to absorb material.

Withdraw swab and insert immediately into the transport media.

Cut excess wire with scissors. (If entire swab is received within the transport media the sample will be rejected and a new sample will have to be collected)

Note: Rule of thumb to determine when swab is placed properly: insert swab one-half the distance from the tip of the nose to the tip of the earlobe.

Test Schedule:  


Turnaround Time:  


Preliminary: 24 hours

Final: 1 to 2 weeks

Stat / Urgent

Preliminary: 24 hours

Final: 1 to 2 weeks

Reference Interval:  


Critical Values:  

If a direct RSV( for in-patients)  test is performed and a positive sample is detected, this information is made available to the health care provider immediately. All other viral information will follow.

Lab Process Notes :  


Storage & Transport:  

Specimen must be refrigerated. A delay in transport will provide invalid results. If the specimen has not been refrigerated, the specimen will be rejected and a new sample will be requested.

Test Referred to :   

On site, BGH laboratory and Public Health Laboratories, London

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