Brief Description

Influenza Polymerase Chain Reaction
Virus Culture

Laboratory Unit

Virology & Molecular 


Real-Time RT-PCR
Virus Culture

Specimen Collection

Seasonal Influenza Kit

The MSPHL will supply influenza kits to sentinel providers and for outbreak assistance for the influenza transmission season.  These kits are routinely supplied to sentinel site providers at the start of the influenza transmission season, and are available for outbreak testing by request.  Requests for influenza testing from non-sentinel sites should be made directly to the laboratory or the State Influenza Coordinator.

Collection of Seasonal Influenza Specimens


Acceptable Specimen Type(s)

Upper respiratory tract clinical specimens

  • Nasopharyngeal Swab
  • Nasal Swab
  • Throat Swab
  • Nasal Aspirate
  • Nasal Wash
  • Nasopharyngeal Swab / Throat Swab combination

Lower respiratory tract clinical specimens

  • Bronchial Alveolar Lavage
  • Bronchial Wash
  • Tracheal Aspirate
  • Sputum
  • Lung tissue

Test Request Form(s)

Possible Results

Real-Time PCR
Influenza A Detected
Influenza B Detected
Invalid (Specimen is inadequate for testing, a new specimen may need to be collected)
Influenza Not Detected
Influenza A H1 Detected
Influenza AH3 Detected
Influenza A 2009 H1N1pdm Detected
Influenza A(H3N2)v Presumptively Detected, specimen being forwarded to CDC for confirmation
Influenza A Virus Detected, Subtyping Not Performed
Influenza B, Victoria Lineage Detected
Influenza B, Yamagata Lineage Detected
Influenza B Detected, Lineage Genotyping Not Performed

Virus Culture
Influenza A Isolated
Influenza A (H1) Seasonal Isolated
Influenza A (H3) Isolated
Influenza 2009 A (H1N1) pdm Isolated
Influenza B Isolated
Influenza B/Victoria Lineage Isolated
Influenza B/Yamagata Lineage Isolated
No Virus Isolated
Test Cancelled
Inconclusive for Influenza 

* Effective October 1, 2021, all specimens submitted for Influenza Real-Time PCR analysis will also receive testing for SARS-CoV-2 by Real-Time PCR analysis.

Unacceptable Conditions

Received warm
Improperly identified
Not meeting laboratory testing criteria 
Specimen not in viral transport medium
Incorrect specimen type

Interfering Substances

Use only viral transport medium and synthetic Dacron/flocked swab or equivalent.  Do not use wooden shaft or cotton swab.

Result Reported

rRT-PCR - Typically, testing is performed and results are reported the same day the specimen is received.

Virus Culture - Up to 14 days



CPT Codes




Additional Information