Virus Detection – Tissue

Consistent with O. Reg. 671/92 of the French Language Services Act, laboratory testing information on this page is only available in English because it is scientific or technical in nature and is for use only by qualified health care providers and not by members of the public.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Virus Detection1


0.5 grams

Virus Culture (tissue) Collection Kit; Order #390075


Sterile container2

Submission and Collection Notes


Molecular methods are preferred over viral culture for detecting viruses in tissue, due to increased sensitivity; please contact PHO for information on availability of molecular testing prior to collecting sample.


Using a sterile container and you are submitting smaller pieces of tissue, add phosphate buffered saline (PBS) to cover the tissue to prevent drying.

Storage and 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 on ice packs.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Virus culture testing is performed Monday to Friday. Turnaround time is up between 2-18 days (see test methods for more detail) from the time of receipt at PHO Laboratory.

Molecular testing is performed Monday to Friday. TAT is up to 3 days from the time of receipt at PHO laboratory.

STAT and Critical Sample Testing is not available.

Test Methods

Samples are observed in culture for a minimum of 16 days to allow for growth of the virus in culture. Samples that are positive can be observed at any point during this period, and can be reported up to 18 days.

Tissue samples may also be tested by molecular methods depending on sample type, patient setting and requested organism.


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

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Laboratory Services

Updated 20 July 2020