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Molecular Detection by PCR or RT-PCR

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Molecular Detection by PCR or RT-PCR for severe acute respiratory associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
Severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

Respiratory specimens (nasopharyngeal swab, throat swab, etc.).  Volume required: 1-2 mL.

Collection Method:

Use sterile swabs and swab nasal cavity, throat, etc.  Place swabs in 2-3 mL viral transport medium.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Keep samples refrigerated until shipped for testing.  Ship on dry ice.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Shipping of specimens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. For additional information regarding classification of specimens for the purposes of shipping, consult either Part 2 Appendix 3 of the TDG Regulations or section 3.6.2 of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations as applicable.



Patient Criteria:

Suspected or confirmed viral respiratory infection.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed requisition (current Molecular Diagnostic for Respiratory Viruses requisition form).  Sender lab name, address, and telephone number must be included for samples to be processed.  Also include identifier (sender lab number), patient date of birth, patient gender, type of specimen, and date collected.  Under additional information, please include if possible/applicable:  passage history, patient travel history, extent of influenza activity, and date of collection relative to antiviral use.


Authorization must be obtained for molecular detection by PCR or RT-PCR for severe acute respiratory associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).  Please contact the Influenza and Respiratory Viruses laboratory by phone or email before sending specimens. 

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Nucleic acids are extracted from submitted respiratory specimens.  Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) or Reverse Transcriptase (RT) PCR with virus-specific primers is performed on extracted nucleic acids to determine the presence of viruses (using real-time detection or visual confirmation by gel electrophoresis of PCR products).

Turnaround Time:

14 calendar days.

Phone #: (204) 789-6047
Fax: (204) 789-2082