Brief Description

Middle-Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Polymerase Chain Reaction

Laboratory Unit



Real-Time PCR

Specimen Collection

MERS-CoV Collection Kit

Before collecting and shipping specimens for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) testing, please call DHSS at 800/392-0272 (24/7). Note that before any specimen is sent for testing, DHSS staff must first be consulted. After consultation and determination that the patient meets the criteria for testing, contact the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory (MSPHL) at 573/751-3334 or 800/392-0272 if you have questions regarding collection and shipping prior to collecting the specimens. This will help ensure that proper specimens are obtained in the right quantity, and that they are packed and transported properly.

Collection Instructions


Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Upper Respiratory Specimen, ie. Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swab
Lower Respiratory Specimen, ie. Sputum, broncheoalveolar lavage, tracheal aspirate or pleural fluid
Red-top or serum separator blood tube
EDTA purple top blood tube
It is important to collect EACH specimen type!

Test Request Form(s)

Possible Results

  • MERS-CoV Negative
  • MERS-CoV Presumptive Positive (Specimen will be referred to CDC for confirmation.)
  • Inconclusive (An inconclusive result may occur in the case of an inadequate specimen.)
  • Equivocal (Additional analysis may be conducted by CDC.)
  • Unsatisfactory

Unacceptable Conditions

  • The name on the specimen does not match the name on the requisition form.
  • The specimen container is not labeled with the patient's name.
  • Improper storage/transport of specimen.
  • The sample collected with improper collection device-cotton-tipped or calcium-alginate swab, wooden-shaft swab, transport media not intended for viruses.
  • The specimen is not one of the listed acceptable specimens.

Interfering Substances

Cotton-tipped or calcium-alginate swab, wooden-shaft swab, transport media not intended for viruses

Result Reported

Testing is performed and results are reported the same day the specimen is received.



CPT Codes




Additional Information