Human Papilloma Virus – HPV

Testing Indications

The preferred methods for routine HPV diagnosis include molecular testing and immunohistochemistry. PHO does not perform either of these tests for HPV. If molecular testing for routine cervical cancer screening or ASCUS triage is required, contact your local private community laboratory for submission and testing information.

The National Microbiology Lab (NML) offers reference and confirmation testing only. If your request meets the NML patient criteria described at, please follow the specimen collection and handling instructions below.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

Biopsies or swabs in UTM

2ml for swabs in UTM

Sterile container for biopsies. UTM for swabs.

Submission and Collection Notes


Enter the applicable reference and confirmation testing information along with "HPV" in Section 3 on the General Test Requisition Form


Biopsies must be frozen and shipped on dry ice


National Microbiology Lab ( Winnipeg) offers HPV testing for reference and confirmation only. Samples for routine cervical cancer screening or ASCUS triage are not accepted unless part of pre-arranged collaborative study. Please visit for more details.

Storage and Transport

Label the specimen with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Biopsies should be frozen immediately and shipped on dry ice. Swabs should be shipped on ice packs.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

HPV testing is a referred out test and is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg.

Turnaround time is up to 28 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.

Test Methods

HPV is detected using nested PCR followed by genotyping using Luminex technology at NML.

Refer to for more information on the assay, limitations, and genotypes detected.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Additional Information

See Clinician Fact Sheet from Cancer Care Ontario.

Updated 8 April 2021