Lab Questions? Call 617-724-LABS • Full List of TestsAdvanced Search

Viral culture
Lab code: VIRC
Test Synonyms:
Viral culture
Inpatient Req:
Microbiology (#11854)  
Outpatient Req:
Clinical Labs (#83608)  
Result Time:
Varies   Cost: $$$
Reference Interval:
Important Information:
In general, there are few indications for viral culture. If viral culture is requested, please specify virus to be cultured. For Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and Cytomegalovirus (CMV) cultures may be ordered separately. For Varicella zoster virus (VZV) the Direct fluorescent examination is the test of choice due to high sensitivity of detection. For enterovirus meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid PCR is the test of choice due to high sensitivity for detection. Stool viral cultures do not detect typical viral causes of diarrheal illness (i.e. Norovirus). Rapid diagnostic assays for Influenza, Parainfluenza, Adenovirus, and RSV are performed on respiratory specimens (see individual viral antigen detection assays or viral respiratory panel for details). Viral respiratory cultures are not routinely performed. Unless the patient is immunocompromised, rapid diagnostic assays will detect the vast majority of respiratory viruses. Call the microbiology laboratory if viral respiratory cultures are necessary in an individual, immunocompromised patient with negative results from rapid tests.