Molluscum contagiosum – Virus detection

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Virus culture and electron microscopy

Exudate and scrapings from skin lesions, skin crust


Glass slide or place in media from Virus Culture Collection kit order #390081

Virus culture and electron microscopy


One swab in transport media provided in kit

Virus Culture kit order #390081

Submission and Collection Notes


If you suspect a case of smallpox, consult the Public Health Ontario laboratory and your local Public Health Unit.


If submitting skin scrapings on a glass slide, insert into a clean container.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen 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 ASAP, where possible.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

The Molluscum contagiosum test is performed daily Monday to Friday.
The TAT for EM is up to 3 days.

Samples tested by virus culture are observed for a minimum of 10 days prior to reporting a negative culture result; samples that are positive can be observed at any point during this period.
TAT for a virus culture is up to 12 days.

TAT will vary during the winter months.

STAT and Critical Sample Testing is not available.


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

Test Methods

Specimens are tested by Electron Microscopy (EM) and virus culture.

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Laboratory Services

Updated 22 Oct 2019