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Mumps - Diagnostic - PCR
Specimen Type:

​Buccal swab; throat swabs; urine and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)


​Buccal/Throat swabs or saliva should be submitted in Multi-Organism Transport Medium-Virus Culture Collection Kit.
Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) and Urine should be submitted in a sterile container.

Collection information:

​Buccal swabs may be collected up to 9 days from date of symptom onset.  Massage the parotid gland area (the space between the cheek and teeth just below the ear) for about 30 seconds prior to collection of the buccal secretions. The parotid duct (Stensen’s duct) drains in this space near the upper rear molars. Put the swab into that space.

Throat swab – Can be taken up to 9 days from symptom onset
Urine – Can be collected up to 14 days following symptom onset
CSF – Testing may be performed in cases of aseptic meningitis

It is advisable to collect a buccal swab and urine specimen on all patients.

For swabs-Follow the instructions found in the Virus-Culture Kit Instruction Sheet.

Urine should be submitted in a sterile container

CSF should be submitted in a sterile container

To order Collection Kits or other PHOL Supplies complete the Requisition for Containers and Supplies. The form should be faxed to Public Health Ontario Laboratory, Toronto at 416-235-5753 or your local PHOL. 

Minimum volume required:

​CSF – 1.0 ml ; urine – 5.0 ml


​Complete all fields of the General Test Requisition Form



Preparation prior to transport:

​Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHOL on ice packs.

Special Instructions:



​RT-PCR testing is performed on mumps specimens.

Positive PCR specimens are cultured using traditional virus culture.


​All patients being tested for mumps should also have acute and convalescent mumps serology performed. Please see mumps serology .

Ensure that the lab requisition indicates that you are requesting mumps testing. Mark the symptoms, dates of onset of parotitis, exposure/travel history, and vaccination history on the requisition.

Note: Please ensure that your local public health unit is aware of all individuals who are being tested for mumps. Please contact the PHOL customer services centre at 416-235-6556 or 1-877-604-4567 prior to submitting samples for mumps PCR testing.
Mumps PCR testing is not routinely performed after hours. In special circumstance where after hours/weekend testing may be warranted please contact the after hour’s emergency duty officer at 416-605-3113.


​TAT for RT-PCR result is up to 3 days.

Samples that are RT-PCR positive will be cultured. Virus Culture is observed for a minimum of 17 days; samples that are positive can be observed at any point during this period.
TAT for a virus culture result is up to 18 days after receipt.

TAT will vary during the winter months.

Positive samples are sent to NML in Winnipeg for genotyping.


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

Specimens that are positive for Mumps are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.​

Uncontrolled print copy. Valid only on day of Print: [date]
Page updated on [date/time] 08/04/2016 3:34 PM
© , Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion