Viral Isolation Section
Kelly McPhail, Microbiologist III
Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories
6810 SE Dwight Street
Topeka, KS 66620
Telephone Number: 785-296-1644
Telephone: 785-291-3387 (Molecular Laboratory Office)
Information obtained from virus culture is designed to provide meaningful data to help support or confirm a physician's clinical observation. Failure to isolate a virus from clinical material does not necessarily rule out the suspected agent, nor imply that the diagnosis is incorrect. Several factors are critical to successful virus isolation; timely and effective specimen collection into an appropriate transport system, correct storage and shipping conditions, and prompt submission of samples to the lab. Careful specimen processing and selection of sensitive host-cell cultures is used to optimize recovery; however, failure in any one or more of these factors can prevent detection of a virus that was actually present in the patient. The importance of prompt specimen collection after onset of symptoms and timely transport of specimens to the lab cannot be over-stressed. Collection of appropriate specimens within 3 days of onset of clinical symptoms and specimen mailing or delivery within 1 day are the most desired conditions.
See the Laboratory Quick Reference Guide for specific viral information.
Viral Culture Specimen Guides
- Viral Culture Rejection Criteria (.pdf)
- Viral Culture Specimen Selection by Clinical Syndrome (.pdf)
- Viral Culture Specimen Selection by Suspected Virus (.pdf)
- Viral Culture Specimen Collection and Transport Guidelines (.pdf)
- Influenza Specimen Submission Guidelines (.pdf)
- Mumps Specimen Submission Guidance (.pdf)