West Nile Virus 2001
Submission Protocol For Testing
Of Human Sera And
Cerebrospinal Fluid Specimens

Instructions for SENDING HUMAN SPECIMENS to the Public Health and Environmental Lab (PHEL) of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) for West Nile Virus (WNV) Serologic and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Testing

SUBMISSION FORM:

Please complete SRD-1 form for each specimen. PLEASE INCLUDE DATE OF SPECIMEN COLLECTED. INCOMPLETE FORMS WILL RESULT IN TESTING DELAYS.

SHIPPING CONTAINER:

Please put specimen in a sturdy container (e.g., styrofoam container). Wrap your specimen in absorbent material (cotton/paper towels) and pack into two (2) different plastic containers to ensure that leakage is contained. The specimen should be kept cool using gel ice packs, but there is no need to keep specimen frozen.

SPECIMEN TYPES AND DELIVERY:

Testing for serology is done on serum and CSF specimens. Please send at least 2.0 ml of serum and 1.0 ml of CSF for proper testing to proceed. For serum samples, whole blood should be collected from the patient by venipuncture into standard red top or serum separator tubes. Do not use whole blood collection tubes containing anticoagulants. After allowing for clot formation, these sample tubes should be centrifuged and the serum fraction withdrawn. Store serum in externally threaded plastic tubes.

Acute and convalescent specimens should be sent together whenever available. If one of these specimens is unavailable, we will accept single specimens for testing.

IDEAL TIMING OF SPECIMENS IS AS FOLLOWS:

Acute specimens should be collected at least eight (8) days post onset of symptoms. Convalescent specimens should be taken two (2) - three (3) weeks after the acute sample was collected. If the acute sample is taken prior to eight (8) days post symptom onset antibodies may not have had time to develop and may result in false negative reports. We will require convalescent samples on patients whose acute samples are drawn prior to eight (8) days post-symptom onset.

REPORTING OF TEST RESULTS:

Initial CSF testing will be performed using IgM capture Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and IgG ELISA. Specimens with positive ELISA results will be sent to CDC for confirmation by plaque reduction neutralization testing (PRNT).

SHIPPING ADDRESS:

New Jersey State Department of Health
Specimen Receiving Laboratory
John Fitch Plaza
Health & Agriculture Building
Trenton, NJ 08625

ATTACHMENT: SRD-1 FORM

 


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