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Lab Test Dictionary

Herpes Simplex Virus Culture with Reflex to Typing (2649)


Centrifuge Enhanced Culture; Histochemical Stain; Monoclonal Fluorescent Antibody Typing



Specimen Type

See Collection Instructions

Performing Lab

Quest Diagnostics San Juan Capistrano

Epic ID


Lab Test Days


Standard TAT

3-4 Days

Collection Information

Specimen Required

Nasal/nasopharyngeal swab, endocervical swab, eye swab, lesion (vesicle) aspirate swab, urethral swab, vaginal swab, rectal mucosa swab (without feces) or throat swab collected in VCM medium (green-cap) tube or equivalent

Container Type

See Below

Collection Instructions

1-3 mL Bronchial lavage/wash or nasopharyngeal lavage wash or 1 g fresh (unfixed) tissue collected in VCM (green-cap) tube or equivalent or sterile screw-cap container is also acceptable. To maintain optimum viability, place swab into VCM (equal volumes of fluid/tissue and VCM) or equivalent and transport the specimen to the laboratory as soon as possible. Best recovery is obtained when the specimens are refrigerated at 2-8 centigrade or kept on wet ice following collection and while in transit. If there will be a long delay before processing, specimens in VCM or equivalent should be frozen at -70 centigrade or colder and transported on dry ice. Storage or transport at -20 centigrade is not acceptable. Raw (unpreserved) samples should only be refrigerated and not frozen. Note: PCR is the preferred test for CSF (preferred specimen: 1 mL CSF submitted in a sterile, leak-proof container without transport media).

Processing Information - Lab Use Only

Transport Temperature


Specimen Stability

Room Temp: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 4 Days (72 hours for unpreserved, raw specimens); Frozen: 30 Days (unacceptable unpreserved, raw specimens)

Rejection Criteria

CSF; Sputum; Raw (unpreserved) stool; Dry swabs; Molecular transport systems; Bacterial transport systems; Tissue or biopsies in formalin or other fixatives; Calcium alginate swabs; Wooden shaft swabs; Non gel-based bacterial transports

Test Volume Required

3 mL

Minimum Test Volume

1 mL

Processing Instructions

Indicate source in comments, on specimen and on batch sheet.

Included Tests

If culture is positive, typing will be performed.


It is not recommended to send and eye, rectal and throat swab in the same VTM, however, Quest will accept if collected on a newborn only, noting possible bacterial contamination as of 1/26/20 SL

CPT Codes

87255; 87140