Dengue Virus

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Dengue Virus serology 

Whole blood or serum 

Whole blood or serum 

Clotted blood - vacutainer tubes (SST) 

Dengue Virus PCR


1.0 ml

Plasma with non-heparin anticoagulant (or serum)

Dengue Virus PCR


400 µl

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Molecular testing must be preapproved by the PHO laboratory microbiologist. Contact PHO laboratory Customer Service at 416-235-6556 or 1877-604-4567 to request approval.


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

  • relevant travel history
  • onset date
  • symptoms

Instructions for using SST tubes are found in the document titled: LAB-SD-008, Blood Collection using Serum Separator Tubes.


Haemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated sera or plasma are not recommended for 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

Specimens should be stored at 2-8◦C following collection and shipped to the PHO laboratory on ice packs. Specimens for molecular testing should be frozen and shipped on dry ice.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Serology TAT is up to 8 days and Molecular testing TAT is up to 28 days from receipt by PHOL laboratory.


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

Positive results from patients with encephalitis are also reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

The Dengue virus serology testing is performed using an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) to detect both IgG and IgM antibodies.

Molecular testing by RT-PCR is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory after approval by the PHO laboratory microbiologist.

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Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

Updated 22 Oct 2019