Herpes B Virus – Reference – Serology

Testing Indications

If you have a patient suspected of having an infection with Herpes B Virus, contact Public Health Ontario laboratory prior to collecting samples.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Herpes B Virus serology

Whole blood or serum

5.0 ml blood or 1.0 ml serum

Vacutainer tubes (SST)

Submission and Collection Notes


Specimens are accepted on both the patient as well as the non-human primate.


Herpes B Virus specimens are referred to the National Microbiology Laboratory or Georgia State University (GSU) Diagnostic Laboratory at a cost. Refer to link for FAQ’s including cost of testing.

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

Centrifuge if using SST. 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.

Samples suspected of Herpes B Virus must be handled in accordance with the Canadian Biosafety Standards and shipped in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Herpes B Virus samples are sent to GSU reference laboratory Mondays to Thursdays.

Turnaround time is up to 14 days from receipt by PHO laboratory.


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

Specimens that are positive for Herpes B Virus are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

Specimens are tested using a Western Blot Immunoassay to detect antibodies to B Virus.

Molecular tests are also available for acute diagnosis. Refer to Test Information Sheet: Herpes B Virus – Reference – PCR.

Additional Information

Infection with B Virus is extremely rare in humans; however, when it does occur, the infection can result in severe neurologic impairment or fatal encephalomyelitis if the patient was not treated soon after exposure.

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Updated 20 July 2020