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Lab Test Dictionary

Monkeypox (Preferred Test as of 9/7/22)


Orthopox Virus; Poxvirus PCR; Monkeypox

Specimen Type


Performing Lab

San Diego Public Health Lab

Epic ID

Other Reference Test

Lab Test Days


Collection Information

Specimen Required

2 lesion swabs in a 1.5-2 mL screw-capped tubes with O-ring or sterile container (x2 Sites)

Container Type

Sterile Container

Collection Instructions

Collect 2 swabs by vigorously swabbing/brushing a lesion in duplicate. One set of swabs is for preliminary testing and the other set will be for confirmatory testing. Collect specimens from multiple lesions (at least 2). Make sure that both swabs touch the same lesion(s). Break/cut off end of applicator of each swab into a 1.5 or 2-mL screw-capped tube with O-ring or place each entire swab in a separate dry sterile container. Store lesion swabs in empty/dry sterile containers such as 15ml conical tube or urine cups with gasket seal and parafilm the lid. (will be in kit send from lab). Label specimen with patient name and date of birth, MRN ,collection date and time. Insert completed VRDL General Purpose Specimen Submittal Form into the biohazard bag with sample. Do not add or store in viral or universal transport media. A sterile dry swab made of nylon, polyester, or Dacron is acceptable for sample collection. The handle of the swab must also be made of aluminum, plastic or wood. Do not use cotton swabs. Collection Kits (containers and swabs) can be obtained from the main laboratory and can be sent by request (call x225413). For any request on suspect Monekypox case, contact Infection Control. Call the laboratory prior to delivery of sample at x225413.

Processing Information - Lab Use Only

Transport Temperature


Specimen Stability

Room Temp=1 Hours; Refrigerated=7 Days; Frozen=60 Days

Rejection Criteria

Viral or universal transport media; Cotton swabs

Test Volume Required

2 lesion swabs in separate containers (x2 Sites)

Minimum Test Volume

2 lesion swabs in separate containers (x2 Sites)

Processing Instructions

Submit completed VRDL General Purpose Specimen Submittal forms and SDPH Test Requisition Forms with each specimen container to SDPH refrigerated or frozen. If samples are received after regular TForce courier route pickup at 1030 Monday-Friday, call a TForce courier pick up to deliver to SDPH Laboratory at 5570 Overland Ave., Suite 103 San Diego, CA 92123. If samples are received after hours, holidays and weekends, hold samples at stability until the next business day. SDPH Laboratory hours are Monday-Friday 0800-1700. For questions, contact SD County Epidemiology (619) 692-8499 during business hours or (858) 565-5255 for after hours.