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Lab Manual for Moffitt-Long and Mount Zion

Lab Manual for SFGH

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Herpes simplex Culture

Item Value
Approval req'd? Yes, contact Microbiology at x3-1268 for testing on urine from patients ≥ 1 month old, CSF, amniotic fluid or brochial lavage.
Available Stat? No
Test code P325
Test group Herpes
Performed by Microbiology
In House Availability Set up daily, day and evening shifts
Method Tissue culture
Collection Instructions Using a cotton-tip swab with a wire shaft, rub vcessicle. Swab fluid of vesicle and rub base of lesion to obtain cells. Place swab in viral holding medium.

Swabs and viral holding medium are available from Microbiology
Container type
Swabs & tissue Viral holding media
Urine and other fluids Sterile container
CSF CSF tube or sterile collection tube
Sample type Vesicle, ulcer, corneal or conjunctival swab, tissue biopsy, vitreous fluid, urine, bronchial lavage, CSF, amniotic fluid
Preferred volume
Tissue 1 gm
Urine, bronchial lavage 10-20 mL
Other body fluids 5-10 mL
Min. Volume
Tissue 0.5 gm
Fluids 5 mL
UCSF Rejection Criteria Sample collected on Calgi-swabs. Swabs not received in viral holding media. Unsuitable sample types.
Normal range
Synonyms Viral culture; HSV
Stability Room temperature 6 hours, refrigerated 1 day
Turn around times 5 days
Additional information Includes typing positive cultures by DFA.

Herpes simplex DNA testing is more sensitive than culture for CSF and amniotic fluids.

Culture of the CSF for Herpes simplex will only be run in the setting of probable meningitis e.g. in disseminated infection in a newborn or for meningoencephalitis associated with genital herpes infection.

CSF culture will not be done in patients who present with an encephalitis only, for whom PCR is the appropriate test (see Herpes simplex, DNA).
CPT coding 87252
LOINC code 5859-4
Last Updated 11/21/2013 12:52:44 PM
Entry Number 495

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

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