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Molecular Detection by Quantitative PCR

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Accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to Laboratory no. 594 (ISO/IEC 17025)

Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Quantitative PCR detection of JC virus.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
JC virus (JCV)
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), CNS fresh biopsies or fixed tissue.  Sample of CSF required is 600 µL (minimum 300 µL). Plasma, serum, whole blood, and urine will not be accepted. Minimum volume will not allow repeat testing of samples with equivocal results.

Collection Method:

Collect CSF in a dry tube subject to classic conditions for carrying out lumbar punctures.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

CSF 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.

Patient Criteria:

Suspected cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

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 JC virus.  Analytical sensitivity between 10 and 100 copies of JC genome per assay. The results are reported as copy number per mL of specimen. No quantitation possible on tissue biopsies. Please note that when testing formalin-fixed specimens, the presence of JCV may not be detected due to the decreased sensitivity of the assay with this sample type.

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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