Isolation of Variola virus<<Return to Laboratory
Isolation of Variola virus.
Lesion fluid and/or crust, scab, skin material; swabs; CSF/serum from encephalitic patients, fresh frozen tissues – minimum sample 0.5 mL.
Collect lesion or crust material, scabs, swabs, CSF in sterile 1.5-2.0 mL tube, avoid dilution of the sample, transport media is not needed.
Serum: collect in serum (red top) or serum separator tubes (SST), centrifugation of serum tubes is not needed and should be avoided.
Tissues: Fresh frozen tissues should be placed in plastic containers.
Store samples in refrigerator or frozen until being shipped for testing. Serum can be shipped refrigerated or frozen. Tissues should be shipped frozen. Ship frozen specimens on dry ice and refrigerated specimens on wet ice.
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.
Patient must be symptomatic with characteristic smallpox papules.
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.
Variola virus is extinct in nature and an active case would be highly unusual. Contact Special Pathogens prior to submission of sample to ensure appropriate shipping documentation is generated. Generation of request will require activation of Canadian Smallpox Contingency Plan.
For diagnosis of Variola virus infection to be confirmed, one or more of the following diagnostic markers must be positive: (i) Variola virus DNA by PCR, and (ii) isolation of Variola virus.
2 calendar days.