Molecular Detection by Quantitative PCR

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 - CAN-P-4E (ISO/IEC 17025)

Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Quantitative PCR detection of BK virus.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
BK virus (BKV)
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Hemorrhagic cystitis
  • Nephropathy in renal transplant patients

Plasma, urine, fresh biopsies or fixed tissue.  Please do not send whole blood. The sample volume required is as follows: plasma 1 mL (minimum 0.5 mL) and urine 2 mL (minimum 1 mL).  Serum will not be accepted.  The assay has not been validated for this specimen type and precise quantitation cannot be assured.  Minimum volume will not allow repeat testing of samples with equivocal results.

Collection Method:

For plasma, collect blood in plasma preparation tube (PPT) or K2EDTA tube (plastic; lavender or pink top) Do not use heparin as an anticoagulant. Centrifuge tube at room temperature at 1,100RCF for 10-15 minutes. Aliquot plasma into separate tube.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Plasma or urine may be stored and shipped refrigerated to NML within 48h of sample collection or must be stored and shipped frozen. Fresh biopsies must be stored frozen at all times and shipped on dry ice. Fixed tissue may be stored and shipped at room temperature.

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.

For additional guidance on the transport of infectious substances in other languages, please click on the link below.

Patient Criteria:

Confirmatory and reference testing for equivocal results or diagnostic complexities. Specimens for routine monitoring of transplant patients will not be accepted unless part of pre-arranged collaborative study.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed "Viral STI, Polyoma and Herpesvirus Testing" requisition form including sender lab name, address and telephone number, patient identifier, date of birth or age, sex, specimen reference #, type of specimen, date collected, test requested and any other relevant clinical information.



Methods and Interpretation of Results:

Quantitative multiplex qPCR based on TaqMan technology (1), detecting both JC and BK viruses. Analytical sensitivity between 10 and 100 copies of BK genome. Limit of quantification is 100 copies per reaction. The results are reported as copy number per mL of specimen. High copy numbers indicate greater probability of infection reactivation (in urine) and greater severity of infection. No quantitation possible on tissue biopsies. Please note that when testing formalin-fixed specimens, the presence of BKV may not be detected due to the decreased sensitivity of the assay.

Turnaround Time:

14 calendar days. STAT samples may be considered under special circumstances. Please contact the lab to inquire about shorter turn around time.

Phone: (204) 789-6024
Fax: (204) 318-2222
  1. Dumonceaux T.J., Mesa C., and Severini A. 2008. An internally controlled, triplex quantitative PCR assay for human polyomaviruses JC and BK. J. Clin Microbiol. 46:2829-2836.
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