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Test Code PCR CSF CSF Bacterial PCR

Biohazard Infectious

Clinical System Name

CSF Bacterial PCR



Cerebrospinal Fluid PCR


Providers, a consult with the Infectious Disease Team is required prior to submitting this order. Please forward all requests to the Microbiology Laboratory.


CSF can be submitted for detection of bacteria by molecular methods. CSF samples from patients with presumed bacterial meningitis who have been previously treated and are not responding to therapy can be tested by PCR upon Infectious Disease approval. The absence of such consult will lead to delayed testing. For in-house patients, a bacterial culture of the same sample must be submitted and confirmed negative before the PCR testing can proceed.  


External/Non-Children's ordering physicians must consult the Microbiology Director prior to sending any sample to Children's Microbiology Laboratory for PCR testing. 



Sample Requirements

Specimen: Cerebrospinal Fluid

Container: Syringe or CSF Tube

Preferred Vol: 1.0mL

Minimum Vol: 0.5mL


Processing Instructions

CPA: Send sample to Microbiology for processing. If sample is shared and only one tube, syringe or other container is received, affix shared sample label and send entire sample plus requisition to Microbiology.


Off-site collection:  Off-site Children's Lab locations should send to SCH Main Campus for testing. If the sample has additional testing ordered, see the respective procedure for the appropriate storage and transport conditions.


Other off-site locations, sample should be stored at -20C prior to and during transport to the SCH Microbiology Laboratory. 


Temp Time
Room temp 1 hour
Refrigerated 24 hours, ≥ 24 hours testing requires Micro Director approval
Frozen Y



Procedure Performed Turn Around Time (TAT)
PCR 24/7

5 - 7 days


Performing Laboratory

Seattle Children's Laboratory



Microbiology Laboratory

CPT Codes

Analyte Dependent


This test is not limited to the CPT codes listed.  Others may be added as more testing is necessary and depending on the pathogens isolated (such as MIC's and ID's)

Reporting Information

Preliminary Report:  48 hours

Final Report: 5 - 7 days


Notifiable Result

Neisseria meningitidis is immediately notifiable to the County Health Department


See Link below for Notifiable Conditions for WA state labs:


See Link below for PDF of phone numbers for Local Health jurisdictions (by County) in WA State: