Viral Isolation

Important Notice

Information regarding chikungunya, dengue, and Zika specimen submission

The guidance document for submission of chikungunya and dengue specimens to the DSHS Laboratory was recently updated to incorporate information on Zika specimen submission. This includes testing criteria for both Serology and PCR. Please refer to the new guidance document—Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika PCR and Serology Specimen Criteria—for details.

About Us

The Viral Isolation Team at the Texas Department of State Health Services identifies viruses in both patient and reference specimens submitted by physicians, hospitals, or other laboratories. Specimens may be submitted for diagnostic, reference, or surveillance testing. The laboratory receives approximately 2500 specimens annually from across the state of Texas for virus isolation studies. In addition, the laboratory serves as a referee laboratory for the New York State Virus Isolation Proficiency Program. 

Most specimens for virus isolation are tested by cell culture methods, including both standard tube culture and shell vial, where appropriate. In addition, specimens may be evaluated by electron microscopy for direct detection of viruses in the specimen. Molecular detection methods are also used for certain viruses. Identification methods include fluorescent antibody testing, PCR, hemagglutination inhibition, and electron microscopy.

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Get in Touch

Jennifer Gonzales - Clini


Toll-free (Ext. 7594)


Mailing Address

Laboratory Services Section MC 1947
PO Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
United States