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Test Code VCS Viral Culture

Important Note

Do not use for CSF.  For CSF, order Rapid CSF Viral PCR Qual Panel

Clinical System Name

Viral Culture


Viral Culture, Tissue

Sample Requirements

Specimen: See note

Container(s): See note

Preferred Vol: See note

Minimum Vol: 1.0 mL for body fluids


Note: Specimen requirements: a tissue or swab in Universal Transport Media (UTM), body fluids such as urine, sputum, or stool in a sterile container. For NP site use a mid turbinate flocked swab, for all other swabbed sites use a regular flocked swab. Swab MUST be placed in UTM at time of collection.

Processing Instructions

Reject due to: Dry swab (not in UTM). Stool samples submitted in diapers. Freezing specimens at -20°C is NOT acceptable for viral culture.

Spin: N

Aliquot: N

Temp: 2 - 4  C

Storage location

Monday – Friday: Place sample in the Virology Section of the Sendouts Refrigerated Rack.

Saturday-Sunday & Holidays: Close batch in Mayo Access and courier to UW NW220. Place a copy of the Transfer List (indicate time sent) in the Virology Transport Binder. (Call on Holidays to be sure the lab is open to accept samples).


Off-site collection: Transport specimen refrigerated as soon as possible after collection.


Specimen Type Temperature Time
  Room temp






STAT Performed TAT
N Daily  

This test will isolate Herpes Group, Respiratory and Enteroviruses. Turn-around time for positive HSV results is 2 - 3 days; CMV/VZV results in 10 - 21 days; positive results for other viruses averages 5 - 10 days. Negative results reported in 2 - 4 weeks.

Performing Laboratory

University of Washington

Dept. of Laboratory Medicine

UW Virology Lab

1959 NE Pacific St, NW220
Seattle, WA 98195


Phone Number: (206) 520-4600


Department:  Send Outs

Phone Number: (206) 987-2563

Reference Range

Reference values accompany patient report.


Method: Tissue Culture

Analytical Volume: None specified


CPT Codes

87252 x2


Send Out Instructions


Reference Test Name: Viral Culture Screen
Reference Test Number:



Send out M - F with the UW courier. Weekends and Holidays courier to UW NW220.