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Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Microbiology Essentials

​Methodology and Clinical Interpretation for Microbiology Testing

TestMethodology and Testing InformationClinical Interpretation / Performance Characteristics

Acanthamoeba PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of microbial DNA

  • Intended for ocular specimens only (corneal scrapings and/or intact contact lens)

 

  • This test is a "research use only" test and has not yet been fully validated.
  • Intended to assist in the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK). Clinical correlation is required. 
  • The test will detect all species within the Acanthamoeba genus, but will not distinguish between them.
  • A positive result for Acanthamoeba does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) microbes. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious microbes with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for Acanthamoeba does not exclude the possible presence of other viruses or bacteria.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
​Acid Fast Bacilli (AFB) Smear and/or Culture
​Referred Out to Saskatchewan Disease Control Laboratory (Regina)
  • ​Positive cultures for M. tuberculosis are always clinically significant
  • Clinical correlation is required for interpretation of cultures growing non-tuberculosis mycobacteria

Adenovirus PCR

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract and ocular specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

 

  • This test will detect all serotypes of Adenovirus but will not discriminate between them.
  • A positive result for Adenovirus does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for Adenovirus does not exclude the possible presence of other respiratory viruses or bacteria.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).  
​Blood​Automated detection of growth by blood culture instrument through measurement of fluorescence,
correlating with changes in C02 tension in the bottle
  • Clinical correlation required
  • M. tuberculosis bacteremia can be observed in immunocompromised patients with active TB disease
  • Disseminated M. avium complex infection with bacteremia can develop in HIV positive individuals with low CD4 counts
  • Central line-related bloodstream infections can be seen
​Bone Marrow
​Automated detection of growth by blood culture instrument through measurement of fluorescence,
correlating with changes in C02 tension in the bottle
  • ​Positive cultures for M. tuberculosis are always clinically significant
  • Growth of non-tuberculous mycobacteria almost always significant from this specimen

BK / JC Virus PCR (Polyomavirus)

Real-time PCR amplification for
detection of viral DNA
 
  • Validated for urine, serum, and cerebrospinal specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC


 

  • This test will detect both BK and JC viruses and will discriminated between them. The report will indicate which virus type has been detected.
  • A positive result for BK or JC virus does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for BK or JC virus does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request)

Bordetella parapertussis PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test is specific for B. parapertussis and will not show cross-reactivity with other species of Bordetella.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for B. parapertussis does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).  
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
Bordetella pertussis PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC
  • This test will not discriminate between the closely related species B. pertussis, B. bronchoseptica, and B. holmseii. However, because these latter two species rarely cause human disease, a positive result is most likely to be B. pertussis
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for B. pertussis does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).
Chlamydia pneumoniae PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA 

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test is specific for C. pneumoniae and will not show cross-reactivity with other species of Chlamydia.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for C. pneumoniae does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).

Chlamydia trachomatis PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract and ocular specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with MOC

 

  • This test is specific for C. trachomatis and will not cross-react with other species of Chlamydia. The assay targets the cryptic plasmid found in all C. trachomatis and will detect the Swedish variants of                   C. trachomatis that have a genetic deletion in this plasmid.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for C. trachomatis does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).
​Clostridium difficile Antigen and Toxin​C. Diff Quik Chek Complete (Alere): Rapid membrane enzyme immunoassay for detection of C. difficile-specific antigens.
  • Validated for fecal (stool) specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC
  • Not to be used for patients having had a previous negative result within the past 7 days, or a previous positive result within the past 14 days
  • Not to be used as a test-of-cure in patients showing clinical improvement
  • ​This test is a screening test to aid in the diagnosis of patients suspected of having C. difficile disease. The test is an immunoassay which detects three C. difficile-specific antigens in stool - the glutamine dehydrogenase (GDH) enzyme, Toxin A, and Toxin B. Detection of the GDH antigen indicates the presence of either toxigenic or non-toxigenic C. difficile whereas the additional detection of the Toxin antigens is correlated with toxigenic C. difficile.
  • If results of the antigen screening test are inconclusive (eg. if the test is positive for GDH antigen but negative for Toxin antigens, or vice versa), the specimen will be re-tested by a molecular assay for the C. difficile Toxin genes (see Clostridium difficile PCR).
  • A negative result for C. difficile antigens does not exclude the possible presence of other pathogens.
  • A positive result for C. difficile antigens should be correlated with clinical symptoms because of the possibility of asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile in healthy children and adults.
  • The manufacturer reports analytical sensitivity of about 90% when compared to bacterial culture, and specificity of about 93%. Cross-reactivity with Clostridium sordellii has been noted which may give a false positive result for the Toxin antigens.
Clostridium difficile PCR

Cepheid GeneXpert system: Real-time PCR amplification of C. difficile-specific gene targets

  • Validated for fecal (stool)specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC
  • Not to be used for patients having had a previous negative result within the past 7 days, or a previous positive result within the past 14 days
  • Not to be used as a test-of-cure in patients showing clinical improvement
  • This test is intended to aid in the diagnosis of patients suspected of having C. difficile disease. The test is a multiplexed PCR that targets genetic regions encoding the Toxin B gene (tcdB) and the binary toxin gene present in all toxigenic C. difficile. In addition, a third gene (tcdC) may be amplified which allows the hypervirulent 027/NAP1/B1 C. difficile ribotype to be differentiated from non-NAP1 C. difficile.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable C. difficile – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for C. difficile does not exclude the possible presence of other pathogens.
  • A positive result should be correlated with clinical symptoms because of the possibility of asymptomatic carriage of C. difficile in healthy children and adults.
  • The manufacturer reports analytical sensitivity between 75 and 460 organisms per test, depending on the toxin type, and clinical sensitivity of at least 93%, depending on the patient population.  No cross-reactivity with other fecal organisms has been noted.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real-time PCR amplification for
detection viral DNA 
  • Validated for a range of specimen types

 

  • This test is specific for Cytomegalovirus and will not show cross-reactivity with other members of the Herpes Virus family.
  • The test does not distinguish between infectious and non-infectious viruses – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for Cytomegalovirus does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • Test results are qualitative only – for quantitative assays refer to the CMV Viral Load test. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Viral Load PCR

Eragen (Luminex) system: Real-time PCR amplification for detection of CMV DNA 

  • Validated for plasma only
  • Other types of specimens may be tested after consultation with the MOC, but will not give an accurate numerical value for viral load

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • This assay is to be used to quantitate the amount of Cytomegalovirus DNA in the plasma of patients who are at risk of developing CMV disease, or patients undergoing anti-CMV therapy. It is not indicated for the initial diagnosis of a CMV infection, nor for screening of asymptomatic patients who do not have risk factors for CMV disease.
  • This assay employs real-time PCR technology and has been calibrated against an international reference standard.  Results are expressed as International Units per mL (IU/mL) of plasma. 
  • This assay has a quantitation range of 200 to 5,000,000 IU/mL; a result reported as "Detected, less than 200 IU/mL" or "Detected, greater than 5,000,000 IU/mL" indicates that although CMV DNA is present, accurate quantitation is not possible.
  • The limit of detection of this assay is approximately 50 IU/mL of plasma. Therefore, a result of "Not Detected" does not necessarily indicate the complete absence of CMV if the viral load is below this detection limit.
  • The assay has an inherent technical variability that may be as high as 25%; for example, a viral load reported as 1000 IU/ mL can represent a value between 750 and 1250 IU/mL.  For this reason, changes in viral loads of less than 25% in serially collected specimens may not be meaningful and should be interpreted in the clinical context.  Similarly, caution should be used if comparing quantitative results from this assay to those generated by different laboratories, or published in the literature.

Enterovirus/Parechovirus PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection viral DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract, cerebrospinal fluid and fecal specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will detect all known species and serotypes of the Enterovirus genus (including the recently emerged type D68) as well as the two species of the Parechovirus genus – Human Parechovirus and Ljungan virus.
  • Although the test will discriminate between Enteroviruses and Parechoviruses, within the Enterovirus group it will not distinguish which species or serotype is present.
  • A positive result for Enterovirus or Parechovirus does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus.  PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for Enterovirus or Parechovirus does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms. 
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).  

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) PCR

Standard PCR amplification followed by agarose gel electrophoretic detection of viral DNA

 

  • This is a "research use only" test and has not yet been fully validated for diagnostic use.
  • This test is specific for EBV and will not cross-react with other members of the Herpes Virus family.
  • Intended to assist in the diagnosis of disease caused by this virus – in particular, central nervous system infections. The test is NOT intended for the diagnosis of infectious mononucleosis.
  • The test does not distinguish between infectious and non-infectious viruses – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result for EBV does not exclude the possible presence of other microorganisms.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
​Epstein-Barr Virus
(EBV) Viral Load PCR
​Eragen (Luminex) system: Real-time PCR amplification for detection of EBV DNA 
  • Validated for plasma only
  • Other types of specimens may be tested after consultation with the MOC, but will not give an accurate numerical value for viral load
  • ​This assay is to be used to quantitate the amount of Epstein - Barr virus (EBV) DNA in the plasma of patients who are at risk of developing EBV disease (such as post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder), and to monitor the antiviral therapeutic response in patients having EBV-related disease. It is not intended for the screening of asymptomatic patients who do not have risk factors for EBV-related disease.  Recent studies have shown that patients developing B-cell lymphoproliferative disease, or those who have reactivated EBV, will typically have high or rising levels of EBV DNA in their plasma and that monitoring EBV DNA in plasma is an accurate indicator of EBV-related disease in these patients. (Kanakry J.  Clinical significance of EBV DNA in the plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with or without EBV diseases.  Blood 2016; 127(16): 2007-2017).
  • This assay employs real-time PCR technology using Eragen MultiCode™ reagents and has been calibrated against an international reference standard.  Results are expressed as International Units per mL (IU/mL) of plasma.  
  • This assay has an accurate range for quantitation of 200 to 1,000,000 IU/mL; a result reported as "Positive, <200 IU/mL" or "Positive, >1 X 10^6 IU/mL" indicates that although EBV DNA is present, accurate quantitation is not possible.
  • The assay has a technical variability that may be as high as 25%; for example, a viral load reported as 1000 IU/ mL can represent a value between 750 and 1250 IU/mL.  For this reason, changes in viral loads of less than 25% in serially collected specimens may not be meaningful and should be interpreted in the clinical context.  Similarly, caution should be used if comparing quantitative results from this assay to those generated by different laboratories, or published in the literature.

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral DNA

  • Validated for cerebrospinal, ocular, and dermal (vesicular lesions) specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect HSV Type 1 and HSV Type 2 and differentiate between these two types.  The report will indicate which HSV type has been detected.  The test does not cross-react with other members of the Herpes Virus family.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity is between 2000 and 5000 copies of HSV 1 or 2 per mL of primary specimen.
  • False negative results may occur for dermal specimens (vesicular lesions) if the base of the lesion is not sampled properly, or if the specimen is collected late in the course of the infection.
  • False negative results may occur for cerebrospinal specimens if the specimen is collected during the very early stages of CNS disease when the viral load is expected to be very low.  In addition, HSV DNA may only persist in CSF for 3 to 4 weeks after initial presentation of symptoms and be undetectable in the very late stages of disease.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus.  PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (references available upon request).

Influenza A and B PCR

 

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral RNA 

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect Influenza Virus Types A and B and distinguish between them. The report will indicate which Influenza type has been detected.  The test does not cross-react with Influenza Type C or other common respiratory viruses or bacteria.
  • This test detects all know subtypes of Influenza A, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain, but will not discriminate between them.  If necessary, subtyping of Influenza Type A strains can be performed by referral to a reference laboratory although prior approval by the Microbiologist-on-call is required.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus.  PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity is between 5000 and 10,000 copies of Influenza A or B per mL of primary specimen.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • The test has been validated in-house using published data as a source. References are available upon request.
​Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) (QuantiFERON - TB Gold)
​Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assy (ELISA)
  • ​This test cannot distinguish between tuberculosis disease and latent tuberculosis infection (LTB)
  • This test is intended for use in conjunction with risk management, radiography, and other medical diagnostics evaluations
  • Infections with other mycobacteria (M. kansasii, M. szulgai, and M. marinum) may also cause false results

Legionella pneumophila PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC
  • This test will detect all species within the Legionella genus. If a positive result is obtained, a secondary test to distinguish between Legionella pneumophila and other Legionella species is automatically performed.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • The test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (references are available upon request).

Mycobacterium tuberculosis PCR

GeneXpert system: Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with MOC
  • This test will detect all members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) complex which includes M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, M. canetti, and   M. microti.  It will not distinguish between the members of the MTB complex.
  • Culture should be performed as it is the gold standard for testing and is necessary for susceptibility and fingerprinting (for epidemiology)
  • This test does not distinguish between viable organisms, non-viable organisms, or nucleic acids persisting from a prior infection. Test results must be correlated with clinical presentation before a definitive diagnosis is made. Similarly, the test has not been studied in patients undergoing antimicrobial chemotherapy and should not be used to assess therapeutic success or failure.
  • A negative result does not rule out the presence of MTB complex if the organisms are present below the limit of detection for the assay. Manufacturer data suggests that the limit of detection is approximately 130 organisms per mL of primary specimen.
  • Clinical sensitivity of this test, based on manufacturer data, is approximately 99.5% for smear-positive, culture-positive specimens, and 90% for smear-negative, culture-positive specimens. Clinical specificity is approximately 98%.
  • Test results are qualitative only (positive or negative).
Mycoplasma pneumoniae PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of bacterial DNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the laboratory or MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect Mycoplasma pneumoniae and does not cross-react with other species of Mycoplasma or other common respiratory viruses or bacteria.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • The test has been validated in-house using published data as a source.  References are available upon request.

Norovirus PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral RNA

  • Validated for fecal (stool) specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC
  • This assay is specific for the Genotypes I and II Noroviruses and will distinguish between the two genotypes. Within the Genotype II group, this assay will also detect the newly emerged Sydney GII.4 variant. The assay does not cross-react with other gastrointestinal viruses or bacteria.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined
  • A positive result for Norovirus does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency. Similarly, Norovirus will be present in stool for several days after complete resolution of symptoms in the patient, yielding a positive PCR result.  Results of a PCR test must be correlated with other clinical and diagnostic findings. 
  • A negative result for Norovirus does not exclude the possible presence of other gastrointestinal viruses or bacteria. 
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request). 
Pneumocystis PCR

RidaGene system:  Real-time PCR amplification for detection of fungal DNA 

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test is specific for Pneumocystis jirovecii (previously Pneumocystis carinii). It does not cross-react with other species of Pneumocystis or other common respiratory tract viruses, bacteria, or fungi.
  • The test does not distinguish between viable and non-viable organisms – both are detected with equal efficiency
  • A negative result does not rule out the presence of Pneumocystis if the organisms are present below the limit of detection of the assay. Manufacturer data suggests that the assay has a detection limit of approximately 200 organisms per ml of primary specimen.
  • Test results are semi-quantitative – the report may indicate a “low” or “high” burden of organism. Consult the laboratory or MOC for interpretation.
  • Manufacturer data indicates that clinical sensitivity of this assay is approximately 84%. In general, literature suggests that this test may be up to 20% more sensitive than detection by fluorescent microscopy.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral RNA

  • Validated for respiratory tract specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the laboratory or MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Types A and B and distinguish between them. The report will indicate which RSV type has been detected. The test does not cross-react other common respiratory viruses or bacteria.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A negative result does not rule out the presence of RSV if the virus is present below the limit of detection of the assay.  Data suggests that the assay has a detection limit of approximately 9000 viral copies per mL of primary specimen.
  • Test results are qualitative only (positive or negative).
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • The test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (references are available upon request).

Respiratory Virus Screen PCR

Seegene RV16 assay:  Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral DNA or RNA, followed by melt-curve analysis to define the viral type

  • Validated for respiratory specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect and differentiate 16 common respiratory viruses: Influenza A (including seasonal influenza, pandemic H1N1, and avian H5N1 subtypes), Influenza B, Respiratory Syncytial Virus types A and B, Coronavirus 229E, NL63, and OC43, Parainfluenza Virus types 1 to 4, Rhinovirus types A, B, and C, Enterovirus, Adenovirus, Bocavirus, and Metapneumovirus. There is no known cross-reaction with other respiratory viruses or bacteria.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity is estimated by the manufacturer to be about 1500-2000 viral copies per mL of primary specimen.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • The test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (references are available upon request).
Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral DNA

  • Validated for cerebrospinal fluid and dermal (vesicular lesions) specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). The test does not cross-react with other known herpes viruses.
  • Test results are qualitative only. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined.
  • False negative results may occur for dermal specimens (vesicular lesions) if the base of the lesion is not sampled properly, or if the specimen is collected late in the course of the infection.
  • False negative results may occur for cerebrospinal specimens if the specimen is collected during the very early stages of CNS disease when the viral load is expected to be very low.  In addition, VZV DNA may become undetectable in the very late stages of CNS disease.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request). 

West Nile Virus (WNV) PCR

Real-time PCR amplification for detection of viral DNA

  • Validated for cerebrospinal fluid and serum specimens only
  • Other types of specimens require consultation with the MOC

 

  • This test will specifically detect West Nile Virus (WNV), including strains from various geographical areas. The test does not cross-react with other related Flaviviruses (eg. Dengue Virus, St. Lousis Encephalitis Virus, etc.).
  • Test results are qualitative only (positive or negative). 
  • A negative result does not rule out the presence of WNV if the virus is present below the limit of detection of the assay. Analytical sensitivity has not been determined for this assay.
  • A positive result does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable (infectious) virus. PCR methods will detect infectious and non-infectious virus with equal efficiency.
  • A positive result does not exclude the possible presence of other microbial pathogens.
  • This test has been validated in-house using published data as a source (reference available upon request).
​Zika Virus
​Referred out to National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Winnipeg
  • PCR
  • Serology
  • ​Zika virus serology cross reacts with dengue and yellow fever, therefore positive results require further evaluation using Plaque Reduction Neutralization Test (PRNT)
  • A convalescent sample taken for serology 2-4 weeks after the acute onset of illness is recommended to confirm exposure to Zika virus if initial PCR and IgM tests negative
  • Refer to the most recent guidelines for recommendations on Zika virus testing. Please contact the Microbiologist on-call at (306)655-1000 if consultation is required.



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Laboratory Controlled Document LSM-801 v5

Last Modified: Friday, September 29, 2017 |
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