Skip Navigation LinksCore Service > Lab Test Directory > Microbiology > Details

Core Services Test Directory

Go to all departments

Influenza A/B and RSV


Influenza A/B and RSV
Click here to magnify the image.

Turnaround Time:



Collecting Vacuum Assisted Nasopharyngeal Aspirates (NPAs)
Suction pump,
Sterile suction catheter (usually size 10, smaller for infants)
Sterile container (usually 30ml urine jar)

1. Attach catheter to suction pump, leaving wrapper on suction catheter. Turn on suction and adjust to suggested pressure (~100-150 mmHg).
2. Without applying suction, insert catheter into the nose, directed posteriorly and toward the opening of the external ear.
Depth of insertion necessary to reach posterior pharynx is equivalent to distance between anterior naris and external opening of the ear.
Stop when you feel a resistance (you have reached the posterior nasopharynx).
3. Apply suction.
4. Using a rotating movement, slowly withdraw catheter. Catheter should remain in nasopharynx no longer than 10 seconds.
5. Disconnect suction.
6. Put the catheter in a sterile container and label.
7. Do not leave for routine porter transport. Send to virology department immediately.


This PCR test looks for the presence of Influenza A, Influenza B and RSV

Sample Requirements:

NPA in universal container.
Nose or throat swab in green top VTM.

Important Information:

Samples for nucleic acid detection must be transported immediately as delay in sample receipt and processing may decrease the assay sensitivity. If a delay for any Virology samples is unavoidable, loss of sensitivity can be decreased by storing samples upright at 4 C.