Laboratory Diagnosis

Lab technician with sample

Infection with human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) can be confirmed by—

  • direct detection of viral genome by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay,
  • direct detection of viral antigens in respiratory secretions (collected within 1 week of symptom onset) using immunofluorescence or enzyme immunoassay,
  • isolation and identification of the virus in cell culture, or
  • demonstration of a significant rise in HPIV-specific IgG antibodies between appropriately collected paired serum specimens or specific IgM antibodies in a single serum specimen.
Page last reviewed: October 6, 2017