Molecular Detection of Lassa virus

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Requisition Forms

Reference Details


Amplification of Lassa virus specific genome.

Test Category:
Molecular Detection
Lassa virus
Illnesses and Diseases:
  • Lassa fever

Whole blood is preferred.

Collection Method:

Collect in EDTA tubes, can submit as aliquots in sterile 1.5-2.0 mL tube.

Specimen Processing, Storage and Shipping:

Store samples in refrigerator or frozen until being shipped for testing.  Ship frozen specimens on dry ice and refrigerated specimens on wet ice. Avoid freezing whole blood samples.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods:

Store samples in refrigerator or frozen until being shipped for testing. Ship frozen specimens on dry ice and refrigerated samples on wet ice. Shipping of samples suspected of containing Risk Group 4 pathogens shall be done by a TDG certified individual in accordance with TDG regulations. If applicable, initiate an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) notification 24 hours prior to shipping. To initiate an ERAP notification, please click the link below to access the transport flow chart for Risk Group 4 pathogens or call 1-866-262-8433 (available 24/7) for assistance.

Transport Flowchart for Risk Group 4 Pathogens


Patient Criteria:

Fever and travel to Lassa virus endemic areas or contact to travellers from these areas.

Accompanying Documentation:

Completed Special Pathogens requisition including sender name, address and telephone number. Patient information including name or identifier, date of birth, and all relevant patient history including clinical diagnosis, underlying diseases, exposure risk and travel history. Indicate type of specimen collected and all specimen information. Select all required tests. If possible, attach lab results that have already been done at local or provincial laboratories.


All patient history must be included; sample without adequate patient history to justify testing are subject to rejection. Contact Special Pathogens prior to submission of sample to ensure appropriate shipping documentation is generated.

Methods and Interpretation of Results:

For diagnosis of Lassa virus infection to be confirmed, one or more of the following diagnostic markers must be positive: (i) presence of Lassa virus-specific antibodies, (ii) presence of Lassa virus RNA by PCR, and (iii) isolation of Lassa virus.

Turnaround Time:

2 calendar days.

Phone: (204) 789-6019 or (204) 789-7032
Fax: (204) 789-2140