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Test Code VRESP Viral Culture, Respiratory

Reporting Name

Viral Culture, Respiratory

Useful For

Diagnosing viral infections in respiratory specimens

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

Specimen Type


Advisory Information

Source-based recommendation for testing:

Esophogeal specimens: Tissue, swabs, or brushings

Order VIRNR / Viral Culture, Non-Respiratory


Dermal specimens: Leg, arm, skin, axilla, etc:

Order HERPV / Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2, Qualitative PCR, Varies and/or LVZV / Varicella-Zoster Virus, Molecular Detection, PCR. If a dermal sample is submitted for viral culture, the laboratory will automatically change the testing to HERPV and LVZV.


Genital specimens: Cervical, endocervical, genital, labia, penis, perianal, scrotum, vaginal

Order HERPV / Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2, Qualitative PCR, Varies. If a genital sample is submitted for viral culture, the laboratory will automatically change the testing to HERPV


Infectious agent-based recommendations for testing:

If herpes simplex visus (HSV) is suspected in a neonatal patient (<1 month), order VHSV / Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Culture From Neonates.


State Health Department testing only: specimens will not be accepted at Mayo Clinic Laboratories for the following diseases (submit directly to your state health department).



-High-risk infectious agents (examples of high-risk infections agents include: Ebola and other causative agents of viral hemorrhagic fever, avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

Shipping Instructions

1. Specimen must be transported at refrigerate temperature.

2. Swab specimens should be sent in viral transport media.

3. Specimens must be received and cultured in the laboratory within 7 days post collection.

4. Specimens for viral culture should be transported to the laboratory as soon as possible for optimal recovery.

Necessary Information

Specimen source is required.

Specimen Required

Specimen Type: Lower respiratory tract

Sources: Bronchoalveolar lavage, bronchial washing or aspirate, tracheal aspirate or secretion, pleural fluid, nasal washing, sputum

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1 mL


Specimen Type: Nasopharynx


-Nasopharyngeal Swab (Rayon Mini-Tip swab) (T515)

-M4-RT (T605)

Specimen Volume: Entire collection

Collection Instructions:

1. Collect specimen by swabbing back and forth over mucosa surface to maximize recovery of cells.

2. Place swab into M4-RT media or other viral transport media (M4 or M5).


Specimen Type: Throat, nasal


-Culturette (BBL Culture Swab) (T092)

-M4-RT (T605)

-Swab, Sterile Polyester (T507)

Container/Tube: Multimicrobe media (M4-RT) (T605)

Preferred: BBL CultureSwab (T092)

Acceptable: Dacron-tipped swab with plastic handle (T507)

Specimen Volume: Swab

Collection Instructions: Place swab into multimicrobe media (M4-RT, M4, or M5).


Specimen Type: Tissue

Supplies: M4-RT (T605)

Sources: Lung and others
Sterile container containing 1 mL to 2 mL of sterile saline or multimicrobe medium (M4-RT, M4, or M5).

Specimen Volume: Entire collection


Specimen Type: Oral


-Swab, Sterile Polyester (T507)

-M4-RT (T605)

Container/Tube: Dacron-tipped swab with plastic handle (T507)

Specimen Volume: Swab

Collection Instructions: Place swab into multimicrobe media (M4-RT, M4, or M5).

Specimen Minimum Volume

See Specimen Required

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Varies Refrigerated 7 days

Reference Values


If positive, virus is identified.

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday; Varies

Test Classification

This test uses a standard method. Its performance characteristics were determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information

87252-Tissue culture inoculation

87176-Tissue processing (if appropriate)

87253-Additional testing virus, identification (if appropriate)

87254-Viral smear, shell vial (if appropriate)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
VRESP Viral Culture, Respiratory 6584-7


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
VRESP Viral Culture, Respiratory 6584-7

Reject Due To








Gel swab, E-swab, swab with wooden handle Blood, serum, bile (toxic), deep seated tissues, lymph nodes, bone marrow/bone tissue, wound swabs, tissue swabs, pus, abscess and/or drainage material

Testing Algorithm

All routine viral cultures are inoculated into cell culture tubes for viral detection. The most common specimens received for routine testing include bronchoalveolar lavage, sputum, and throat. A rapid (16-hour incubation) shell vial cell culture assay will be inoculated when specimens are designated for herpes simplex virus or cytomegalovirus detection or as appropriate for source indicated.


If enterovirus or hand, foot, and mouth disease is suspected, clearly indicate "enterovirus" on request.

Method Name

Cell Culture

Shell Vial Assay for Herpes Simplex Virus or Cytomegalovirus

Secondary ID


Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
TISSR Tissue Processing No, (Bill Only) No
VID2 Additional Testing Virus Ident No, (Bill Only) No
SVIR Viral Smear, Shell Vial No, (Bill Only) No


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.