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Alias: CoVID-19

Discipline: Virology

Test information: A range of real-time RT-PCR assays (rapid & routine) for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in a range of clinical respiratory samples.

Availability: Available locally Monday - Sunday during routine hours: 08:45 - 21:00.
Available out of hours on telephone request (assay dependant).

Turnaround Time: 2 - 6 Hours (Depending on assay used)

Related Tests:

Specimen Type(s)
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage;
  • Endotracheal Aspirate;
  • Nasal Swab;
  • Nasopharyngeal Aspirate;
  • Nasopharyngeal Swab;
  • Oropharyngeal Swab;
  • Sputum;
  • Throat swab;
Other Acceptable Specimen Type(s)
Specimen Container - Adult
  • Copan Liquid Amies Elution Swab (eSwab) Pink;
  • Copan Universal Transport Medium (UTM-RT) Red;
  • MWE Virocult swab - Green Topped;
  • Remel MicroTest M4RT Red;
  • Sigma Transwab Duo MRSA White;
  • Sigma Transwab with standard Sigma swab Purple;
  • Sigma-Virocult with Sigma-Swab Green;
  • Sterile CE-marked Universal Container;
Specimen Container - Paediatric
  • N/A;
  • SARS-CoV-2 envelope gene (E);
  • SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N);
  • SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N1 and N2);
  • SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid gene (N2);
  • SARS-CoV-2 ORF1;
  • SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab;
Part of a test profile?
Volume (min) of sample to be sent to laboratory
Patient Preparation, Sample Handling and Transport
  • Proper sample collection, storage, and transport are essential for correct results.
  • Specimens can be stored at room temperature (15 °C - 30 °C) for up to 24 hours and refrigerated (2 °C - 8 °C) up to seven days until testing is performed.
  • Specimens should be transported at 2 °C - 8 °C.
  • Please refer to Trust Policy: Management of Patients with Confirmed/Suspected Influenza Policy (Internal only)
Maximum add on time
Units and Reference Ranges / Interpretation
Results: Negative / Indeterminate / Positive
Patients that have received a live attenuated nasal vaccine (i.e. Fluenz Tetra / FluMist) prior to specimen collect can result in false positive results.
UKAS number
UKAS accredited test?

If you have any queries about a test or results interpretation please contact us.

Last updated: 03-06-2023