South Dakota Public Health Laboratory
Guidelines for Submitting Human Samples
for West Nile Virus and Other Arbovirus Testing
- Ideal timing of specimens is as follows:
Acute serum should be collected 8-10 days after onset of symptoms. Acute
serum samples collected too early after onset of symptoms may result in false negative results.
Convalescent serum should be collected 2-3 weeks after the acute.
- Send 2-3 ml serum on cool packs. Serum separated from the red blood cells is
preferred to prevent hemolysis.
- Standard blood collection tubes without anticoagulant should be used to collect
the sample. (Red stopper, red/gray marble stopper, serum gel separator tubes)
- Send 2-3 ml of Cerebrospinal fluid if available on cool packs. Do not freeze.
- Also send serum sample collected at the appropriate time. (see above)
Packaging and Shipping
- Send specimens properly packaged with absorbent material inside 2 plastic
containers on cool packs.
- Specimens may be mailed or shipped by courier (i.e. UPS, Fed Ex). Areas
that do not have next day mail service to Pierre should consider alternate
- US Mail, UPS, and Federal Express all deliver samples to the SDPHL Monday
through Friday only.
- Please call the laboratory at 773-3368 before shipping specimens so test plates
can be prepared.
Additional Information to Send with Specimens
- Travel history (0-4 weeks before onset of symptoms).
- Vaccination history (Yellow fever, Dengue, Japanese Encephalitis)
- Date of symptom onset.
- Collection date.
- Physician contact information.
TEST CODE — WNV
CHARGE — Currently there is no charge to submitting agency.
RESULT REPORTING — Positive results will be phoned to the physician/submitting agency.