PCR: Orthopox

Laboratory Fee Schedule

Procedure #:  BTA0032

CPT:  87798



Orthopox virus PCR, poxvirus PCR     

Requisition Form


Test Description

Detection of Orthopox virus family DNA by PCR  as part of acute, generalized vesicular or pustular rash rule-out

Pre-Approval Needed

DSHS Epidemiology consultation with physician required.

Must notify BioThreat Team prior to sample submission: (512) 689-5537

Supplemental Information Required


Supplemental Form(s)


Performed on Specimens from (sources)


Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Lesion material: vesicular or pustular fluid, skin or crust from roof of vesicle or pustule,  swabs of lesion (dry), vesicular or pustular fluid, slide (touch prep),  swab, or punch Biopsy;  Ocular impressions or swabs (if conjunctivitis is present); or Serum (serum alone should never be used to diagnose an Orthopoxvirus infection if

the rash is still present)

Minimum Volume/Size Required

1 ml for fluids

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

2-8°C (cold)

Transport Medium


Specimen Labeling

  • At least 2 patient specific identifiers: First and last name as one identifier and a DOB or a unique patient specific identifier (e.g. Medical record number).

  • Specimen identification must match submission form.

Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

  • Ship according to Dangerous Good Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49.

  • Handled as infectious agent using universal precautions.
  • Triple contained in accordance with federal shipping regulations for infectious agents.
  • See also Emergency Preparedness resources online.
  • Notify BioThreat Team prior to sample submission: (512) 689-5537



Turn-around Time

1 day after receipt


Use dacron or rayon swabs for sample collection, as cotton swabs interfere with PCR.  Improper storage or shipping temperatures may limit organism detection

Common Causes for Rejection

Insufficient quantity, unacceptable specimen type or source, improper shipping conditions, expired media or collection container, discrepancies between specimen label and submission form, and/or incomplete or missing submission form

Additional Information

May be paired with PCR: Vaccinia, PCR: Variola and/or PCR: Varicella zoster virus