Specimen Collection and Testing for Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9 - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Specimen Collection and Testing for
Novel Influenza A Virus (H7N9)

On this page:
Appropriate Specimen Types
Specimen Collection
Specimen Submission Forms
Shipping to MDH-PHL
Other Influenza lab information

Appropriate Specimen Types

For patients admitted with influenza-like illness (ILI) or clinical suspicion of influenza without evidence of pneumonia or other lower respiratory disease – submit one upper respiratory specimen per patient.

  • Nasopharyngeal swab is the preferred specimen
  • Other acceptable specimens include; nasal swab, nasal wash/aspirate, throat swab, or combined nasal swab with an oropharyngeal swab, and viral culture

Specimen Collection

Infection Control For Specimen Collection

Specimen Collection Information

  • Place swab in Viral Transport Media (VTM; e.g., M4, M5, Hanks) for transport to MDH. If VTM is not available, then sterile saline or phosphate buffered saline (PBS) is acceptable.
    • Specimens transported in VTM must reach MDH within 7 days of collection
    • Specimens not transported in VTM must reach MDH within 5 days of collection
  • If sending leftover saline solution (no other chemicals, preservatives) from rapid testing, you must send at least 500 µl.
  • Swabs collected and/or transported in non-sterile containers, baggies, or without transport media (dry) will not be accepted.
  • Ship at refrigeration temperature.

  • Collection of Nasopharyngeal Specimens with the Swab Technique. (Video-New England Journal of Medicine)

Specimen Submission Forms

NOTE: There is NO fee sticker required for influenza testing.

Hospitalized Patients Only (Project #1492)
Use this form for all specimens submitted from persons hospitalized with ILI or clinical suspicion of influenza. In order to allow for prompt testing of submitted specimens for project #1492, please be sure to fill out the form completely, especially information regarding hospitalization (date of admission, hospital of admission, and outcome) found on the lower right hand corner of the form.

Shipping to MDH-PHL

  • Refrigerate specimen until shipping.


Updated Monday, April 09, 2018 at 10:40AM