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    Laboratory Services Section
    MC 1947
    PO Box 149347 Austin, TX 78714-9347
    1100 W. 49th Street
    Austin, TX 78756-3199

    Phone: (512) 776-7318
    Fax: (512) 776-7294

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Bordetella pertussis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) specimen acceptance-rejection criteria

State of Texas Seal



1100 W. 49th Street • Austin, Texas 78756
P.O. Box 149347 • Austin, TX 78714-9347
1-888-963-7111 • http://www.dshs.state.tx.us
TDD: 1-800-735-2989




November 1, 2008


Dear Submitter:

Re: Bordetella pertussis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) specimen acceptance/rejection criteria

Effective December 1, 2008 the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Laboratory Services Section will be enforcing specimen acceptance/rejection criteria for clinical specimens submitted for the detection of B. pertussis using PCR.


Specimen type

Time from collection to arrival at the laboratory


Shipping requirements

Detection of Bordetella Pertussis nucleic acid using PCR

Rayon or Dacron swabs with aluminum or plastic handles, without transport media

Up to 7 days

Cold, 4°C

Must be shipped on cold packs within 48 hours of collection

Any specimens that do not meet these criteria at the date of receipt in our laboratory will be considered unsatisfactory for testing and will be immediately discarded. Although not intended to disrupt vital public health services to our programs and citizens of Texas, these guidelines will ensure the quality of test results and compliance with manufacturers' specimen acceptance criteria. General submission guidelines can be found on our website: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/lab/MRS_intro.shtm

  • Please distribute this letter to all staff responsible for submitting samples
  • Please do not ship specimens to the DSHS laboratory on Friday or the day before a federally observed holiday.

If we can be of any assistance to you in interpreting these guidelines, please contact Aaron Benfield at 1-888-963-7111 ext. 7735. Thank you for your continued support.


Susan U. Neill, PhD, MBA
Director, Laboratory Services Section

Last updated May 19, 2010