Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) serology

Whole blood or serum

5.0 ml blood or 1.0 ml serum

Clotted blood – vacutainer tubes (SST) 

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) serology


1.0 ml

Plasma with non-heparin anticoagulant (or serum)

Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis (VEE) serology


400 µl

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Molecular testing must 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 on the General Test Requisition Form:

  • 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

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 2-8ºC 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 and Molecular testing is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML).

Turnaround time is up to 28 days from receipt by PHO 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 Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis serology is performed using a hemagglutination inhibition assay (HAI) for the detection of antibodies to Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus.

Molecular testing by RT-PCR is performed after approval by the PHO laboratory microbiologist. Amplicons geenrated are subjected to DNA sequencing. CSF will only be tested once it has been shown that antibodies are present in teh patient's serum (via HAI testing).

All Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus testing is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Winnipeg.

contact lab

Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

Updated 20 July 2020