UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

Click here for more information about laboratory operations and procedures

If you have additional questions regarding this test, please call: 415-353-1667

Search Our Test Menu

Avian Influenza A

Item Value
Approval req'd? No
Available Stat? No
Utilization Guidelines See Additional Information
Test code P319
Performed by State Viral & Rickettsial Disease Laboratory
Sendout? Yes
Method PCR
Collection Instructions IMPORTANT: If avian influenza is suspected, call SFDPH Disease Control at (415)554-2830 immediately for consultation to determine the need for testing.

Nasopharyngeal swab: Use flocked swab/Universal Transport Medium for collection. Insert swab into the nostril, gently rotating the swab inward until resistance is met at the level of the turbinates. Rotate the swab a few times against the nasopharyngeal wall (approximately 10 sec) and then withdraw swab. Insert swab into container with Universal Transport Medium. Break end of swab so top of vial can be screwed on securely. Appropriately label specimen and send to the laboratory.
Container type Flocked swab in Universal Transport Medium (UTM)

DO NOT use cotton or calcium arginate swabs for collection
Amount to Collect 1 Flocked swab
Sample type Nasopharyngeal swab
Preferred volume 1 Flocked swab
Min. Volume 1 Flocked swab
UCSF Rejection Criteria Collected with cotton or cotton alginate swabs and wooden handles
Processing notes Refrigerate specimen and transport to SFDPH Laboratory with cold packs, along with a SFDPH laboratory form. Specimens are stable at 2-8°C for 72 hours. Freeze at -70°C if transport time to SFDPH is > 72 hours.

When specimen is received, notify supervisor (virologist or senior CLS after hours/weekend) to call State Viral & Rickettsial Disease lab (510)307-8585.
Normal range Negative
Synonyms H5N1
Stability Refrigerated 3 days, frozen 1 month
Turn around times 2 days after receipt at the State Viral & Rickettsial Disease Laboratory
Additional information Avian influenza A (H5N1) testing is indicated for hospitalized patients with:

1. Radiographically confirmed pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or other severe respiratory illness for which an alternate diagnosis has not been established, AND
2.History of travel within 10 days of symptom onset to a country with documented H5N1 avian influenza in poultry and/or humans. For an updated list of countries affected by H5N1 see www.sfdph.org/cdcp and locate Avian Influenza under the tab Infectious Diseases A-Z.

Testing should be considered on a case by case basis in consultation with SFDPH for hospitalized or ambulatory patients with:

1. Documented temperature of > 38°C (> 100.4°F), AND
2. One or more of the following: cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, AND
3. History of contact with poultry OR a known or suspected human case of influenza A (H5N1) in an H5N1-affected country within 10 days of symptom onset.

Viral cultures on specimens from suspected avian influenza cases are not done in the Clinical Laboratories.

Test performed by California Dept. of Health Services, Microbial Diseases Laboratory, 850 Marina Bay Parkway, Richmond, CA 94804
LOINC code 29257-3
Last Updated 5/31/2016 10:21:33 PM
Entry Number 1138
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center