There is no cost for this testing.
Stool/rectal swab is preferred, but respiratory swabs, and CSF are acceptable for PCR and virus isolation.
- Viral Transport Media (VTM)-available commercially. Some require refrigeration, others do not — check package insert. No dry swabs will be accepted.
- Swab - Swab material should be synthetic, i.e., rayon, polyester, or Dacron. Calcium alginate or charcoal-impregnated swabs should not be used, nor should wood-shaft swabs.
- Sterile containers and collection materials for urine, stool or CSF specimens.
- Cold packs or dry ice.
- Shipping boxes/containers with appropriate shipping labels.
- Be sure to properly label the specimen tube with at least the patient’s name and date of collection.
- Check the expiration date on the VTM tube to ensure product is acceptable and will continue to be acceptable once received at the IDOH laboratory.
- After collection, all specimens should be stored at refrigerator temperature (2-8oC) until shipped. If longer storage is required, place specimens (not serum/blood) in a -70oC freezer (NEVER store, even temporarily, in a regular, -20°C freezer — this temperature will kill virus). Additionally, avoid freeze- thaw cycles, which is also lethal to viruses. Specimens must be received at lab within 5 days of collection if stored at refrigerated temperatures.
- Specimens can be submitted to the IDOH Laboratories by LimsNet, an online system that will make results available as PDF files the minute they are released at the lab. To get a free LimsNet account established at your facility for electronic submission and results reporting, call the help desk at (888) 535-0011 or email to LimsAppSupport@health.in.gov.
- Special Instructions for Specimen Collection
- Rectal Swab: Insert swab 4-6 cm into rectum and roll swab against mucosa. Place swab into VTM tube.
- Stool: Place 2-4 grams into a sterile container.
- Wrap the labeled specimen container with absorbent material and place in a biohazard specimen bag. Be sure to package each patient’s specimens individually to avoid cross-contamination.
- Place the requisition form in the side pocket of the biohazard bag. Never place the requisition form in with the specimen in case the specimen leaks during transit. If the specimen bag does not have 2 compartments, place the paperwork in a separate ziploc bag.
- Place the specimen(s) in a styrofoam container with sufficient cold packs to maintain 4oC during shipment. For swabs, urine, stool or CSF, if needed, dry ice can also be used if the specimen is frozen and/or transport time may be longer than 24 hours. If dry ice is used, do not form an airtight seal on the styrofoam container because dry ice releases carbon dioxide gas.
- Place the styrofoam container into a cardboard shipping box, close lid, and seal.
- Ship or transport by courier, the box compliant with DOT and IATA regulations. Ship to:
Indiana Department of Health Laboratories
550 W. 16th Street, Suite B
Indianapolis, IN 46202
PCR results will be available within 1-2 business days.
Culture results will be available between 3-15 days.