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

Measles virus RNA

Item Value
Approval req'd? Patient's physician must discuss the case and receive approval for submission of specimens from the SF Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Control Unit (415) 554-2830.
Available Stat? No
Test code P319
Test group Measles
Performed by State Viral & Rickettsial Disease Lab
Sendout? Yes
Method PCR, serology, molecular genotyping
Collection Instructions Patient's physician must complete Viral & Rickettsial Disease Specimen Submittal Form.

Click here for form together with a routine laboratory requisition requesting this test.

Collect nasopharyngeal swab for PCR within 9 days after rash onset.

Collect urine for PCR within 10 days after rash onset. Measles can frequently be detected in the urine later in the infection (up to 10 days - sometimes longer) when it can no longer be detected in respiratory samples.
Container type Universal Transport Medium
Urine cup
Red top
Amount to Collect
Nasopharyngeal flocked swab x1
Urine 50 mL
Blood 4 mL
Sample type Nasopharyngeal flocked swab
Random urine
Preferred volume
Nasopharyngeal flocked swab x1
Urine 50 mL
Serum 2 mL
Min. Volume
Nasopharyngeal flocked swab x1
Urine 10 mL
Serum 1 mL
UCSF Rejection Criteria Nasopharyngeal swab not collected using flocked swab and/or not submitted in Universal Transport Medium
Processing notes Specimen is sent out by Microbiology.

Order P319 and freetext at T319 prompt: Measles virus

If blood is sent with the specimen, separate serum by centrifugation.

Refrigerate specimens and give form and copy of requisition to supervisor.

If unable to send out within 48 hrs, freeze specimens at -70°C.

Before freezing urine, centrifuge urine at 3000 rpm for 15 mins 500-600 g for 5-10
min at 4C, discard supernatant, and re-suspend pellet in 2-3 ml viral holding
medium. Pool sediment when urine is centrifuged in more than one tube.

Supervisor is to complete SFDPH Lab request form.
Send specimens with cold packs, or dry ice if frozen at -70°C, and both forms to
SFDPH Lab. SFDPH will forward specimens to State Viral and Rickettsial Disease
Normal range No virus detected
Synonyms Rubeola
Stability Refrigerated 2 days.
Turn around times
PCR 1 week
Culture 3 weeks
Additional information The PCR results should always be interpreted in conjunction with serologic testing for IgM and IgG and thorough assessment of the relevant clinical and epidemiological risk factors.
Last Updated 7/31/2017 11:04:48 PM
Entry Number 1434
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center