Influenza Real-Time RT-PCR

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure #:  MZZ0238A

CPT:  87502

Influenza Real-Time RT-PCR
Synonym(s): Influenza surveillance, Flu PCR
Requisition Form G-2V
Test Description Testing of suspected influenza specimens to detect the presence of influenza RNA in symptomatic patients.
Pre-Approval Needed Please contact the Infectious Disease Control Unit at 512-776-7676 if novel influenza such as A/H7N9, H5N1, and H3N2v is suspected or if there has been prior travel to countries where novel influenza is considered endemic.
Supplemental Information Required May be required if novel influenza is suspected.
Supplemental Form(s) N/A
Performed on Specimens from (sources) Human
Sample/Specimen Type for Testing
  • Nasopharyngeal swabs (preferred)
  • nasal swabs
  • throat swabs
  • nasal aspirates
  • nasal washes
  • dual nasopharyngeal/throat swabs
  • bronchoalveolar lavage
  • bronchial wash
  • tracheal aspirate
  • sputum
  • lung tissue 

    Please contact the Laboratory at 512-776-7595 or 512-776-2452 prior to submitting lung tissue.
Minimum Volume/Size Required 1-2 mL
Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping Keep cold or freeze.
Transport Medium Universal transport media (UTM) or viral transport media (VTM).
Specimen Labeling
  • Two patient-specific identifiers required (e.g., patient full name, date of birth, Medical record number)
  • Identifiers on specimen must exactly match submission form.
Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship samples: 

  • according to Dangerous Good Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49
  • handling as infectious agent using universal precautions
  • triple-contained in accordance with federal shipping regulations for infectious agents
  • If specimens will arrive at the lab within 72 hours of collection, refrigerate at 2-8 ̊C and ship overnight on cold packs.
  • If specimens will arrive at the lab more than 72 hours after time of collection, freeze at -70 ̊C and ship overnight on dry ice.
Method Real-time RT-PCR
Turn-around Time 3 business days
  • False negative may result if specimen is improperly collected, transported, or handled.
  • Detection of viral RNA does not imply that the corresponding virus is infectious or is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.
  • A negative result does not preclude infection.
Common Causes for Rejection
  • Information on the form and tube do not match
  • failure to put two forms of identification on tube
  • specimen received cold greater than 72 hours after collection
  • specimen received ambient
  • submission of incorrect specimen type.
Additional Information  N/A

Last updated June 16, 2021