Laboratory Testing

Specimen Collection, Storage, and Shipment

Refer to this table when you collect, store, and ship specimens. Before sending specimens to CDC, please contact your state or local health department, then email soberste@cdc.gov and cburns@cdc.gov for additional information and to provide shipment details.

Specimen Collection, Storage, and Shipment table
Specimen Type Minimum Amount Collection Storage Shipping Comments
Stool ≥1 gram Collect in sterile container, do not add transport medium Freeze at -20°C Ship on dry ice Highest likelihood of virus isolation
Serum 0.2 ml Collect in sterile container Freeze at -20°C Ship on dry ice Helpful in supporting diagnosis, but not usually as primary specimen
Respiratory – Nasopharyngeal/Oropharyngeal swab 1 ml Store in viral transport medium Freeze at -20°C Ship on dry ice Not recommended
Cerebrospinal fluid 0.2 ml Collect in sterile container, no special medium required; do not dilute Freeze at -20°C Ship on dry ice Not recommended

 

Page last reviewed: November 7, 2017