Providing comprehensive public health laboratory services
A healthy Texas
Mission: Improve health and well-being in Texas
DSHS Laboratory Rules:
Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 73
The Department of State Health Services Laboratory will be closed 11/24/2016 and 11/25/2016 for the Thanksgiving holiday. For more information and to view the holiday testing schedule, please view the DSHS Lab 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday Closure Notice.
Effective November 15, 2016
Influenza Information for
The Department of State Health Services Influenza Laboratory Surveillance
Program has updated two documents ahead of the 2016/2017 influenza season.
See the Laboratory Testing Protocol: Influenza Surveillance
(pdf, 103kb) document for information on acceptable specimens, specimen
labeling and submission for completion, packing and shipment information, a
complete list of Laboratory Response Network laboratories, contact information,
Packing and Shipping Diagram (pdf, 131kb) document visually depicts
how to pack influenza specimens for shipping.
Lab testing for clinical disease management purposes in individual patients
is not a primary function of public health laboratory testing. Such diagnostic
testing, if desired, should be performed by commercial laboratories.
Updated October 10, 2016
Revised laboratory fee
schedules, effective October 1, 2016, are now available.
To view the current Austin Laboratory and South Texas Laboratory fee schedules, please use the following link: http://www.dshs.texas.gov/lab/fees.shtm
Zika Testing Notification
Notice to all submitters requesting Zika virus testing. Please use the most recent version of the G-2V form (July 2016) for requesting all Zika virus testing and check the box for “Zika, Dengue, and/or Chikungunya”. If you submit the G-2A form or the old G-2V form marked with Zika serology only or Zika PCR only respectively, the test performed by the laboratory will be determined using the most current CDC guidelines for testing and epidemiological information.
For Payor Source (Section 6 of the G-2V):
- Do NOT check a DSHS program as a Payor Source if the patient has Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance; the submitter should provide all insurance information.
- FOR ZIKA-RELATED TESTING REQUESTS ONLY: please mark “Zoonosis” as the Payor Source IF THE PATIENT DOES NOT HAVE Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance.
For the most recent information regarding specimen types, specimen collection, and specimen shipping and instructions on how to complete the payor information on the G-2V form, please see specimen collection protocol located at http://www.texaszika.org/docs/DSHS-Chik-Den-Zika-Serology-and-PCR-specimens.pdf.
To request a submitter ID number please complete the Submitter Identification (ID) Number Request Form and follow the instructions for submitting the form.
Change in Laboratory Testing Acceptance Criteria – Specimen Labeling Must Include Two Patient Identifiers
Effective September 1, 2016, all specimens must be labeled with at least two patient specific identifiers; both a primary and a secondary identifier. The identifiers must appear on both the primary container (or card) and the associated submission form. Please see the
specimen acceptance criteria update letter for additional details and acceptable patient identifiers.
Submit Zika Specimens Directly to DSHS Laboratory – not CDC
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Fort Collins has requested that specimens for the detection of Zika virus by real time RT-PCR (rRT-PCR) be submitted to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory in Austin, TX.
Effective immediately, do not ship specimens for rRT-PCR directly to CDC. All specimens for Zika virus should first be submitted to the DSHS Laboratory or an approved Local Health Department Laboratory performing rRT-PCR in Texas. Specimens sent directly to CDC will be forwarded to the DSHS Laboratory resulting in further delay of testing.
For information regarding submission to the DSHS Laboratory, please see specimen collection protocol located at
http://www.texaszika.org/docs/DSHS-Chik-Den-Zika-Serology-and-PCR-specimens.pdf. Note: Serum is required for this testing. Please contact your
Local Health Department or DSHS Health Services Region prior to shipping to ensure patient meets criteria for testing.
For additional information related to the Zika virus, go to
Business Office Hours
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Fax (512) 776-7294
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Signs directing you to laboratory specimen receiving are located at the entrances to the DSHS parking area from Grover Street, North Loop, and Sunshine Drive.
Laboratory Specimen Receiving is located in a seven-story beige brick building. The specimen receiving department is on the north side of building. The entrance is at the far dock designated as “Laboratory Specimen Receiving.”
Specimen Receiving Hours
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Visit the About Our State Health Laboratory page to learn more about the Laboratory
Services Section and its services.