For Healthcare Professionals

Laboratory Testing

Infection with non-polio enteroviruses or parechoviruses can be confirmed by:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays and sequencing
  • isolating the virus in cell culture, followed by PCR assays for virus identification

Specimen Collection


Because specimen submission requirements for CLIA diagnostic testing are currently being updated, ALL submissions to CDC for diagnostic testing require pre-approval at this time. Contact before submitting non-AFM specimens for enterovirus testing to CDC. Please contact before submitting any AFM specimens.

Non-polio enteroviruses and parechoviruses can be detected in stool or rectal swabs and respiratory specimens (including from the throat). Depending on the symptoms, other specimen types such as cerebrospinal fluid, blister fluid, and blood can be collected for testing. For more information, see Specimen Collection, Storage, & Shipment.

A positive laboratory test for non-polio enteroviruses and parechoviruses from certain specimens, such as rectal or respiratory swab, does not necessarily mean the virus is the cause of infection. Non-polio enteroviruses and parechoviruses can be shed for several weeks after the symptoms have resolved.


NOTE: for recommendations on clinical evaluation, reporting, and treatment of EV-D68 as well as laboratory testing and infection control, see Enterovirus D68 for Health Care Professionals.