Astrovirus – Enteric

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Electron microscopy


1.0 gram

Virus – Enteric Kit order#: 390087

Submission and Collection Notes


Complete the following fields of the General Test Requisition Form if diagnostic testing is requested:

  • symptoms
  • onset date

Refer to the Virus – Enteric Kit Instruction Sheet for detailed specimen collection instructions.

Timing of Specimen Collection

Samples should be collected within the first 48 hours after onset of symptoms.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container 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

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection and shipped to PHO laboratory on ice packs ASAP, where possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Detection of Astrovirus by electron microscopy (EM) test is performed daily Monday to Friday.

Turnaround time is up to 3 days from receipt by PHO laboratory, however may be delayed further during the winter months.


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

Specimens that are positive for Astrovirus from Outbreaks are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

Astrovirus specimens are tested by Electron Microscopy. Astroviruses do not grow in tissue culture.

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Updated 21 Dec 2018