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Mumps Virology Testing

Mumps Virology

No cost for this testing.

Acceptable specimens: oral/buccal swabs (recommended), Oropharyngeal swab; CSF, bone marrow (virus isolation only), and urine (virus isolation only).

  1. Viral Transport Media (VTM)-available commercially.  Some require refrigeration, others do not — check package insert.  VTM tubes must include at least 1-2mL liquid media. No dry swabs will be accepted.
  2. Swab - Swab material should be synthetic (e.g., rayon, polyester, or Dacron).  Calcium alginate or charcoal-impregnated swabs should not be used, nor should wood-shaft swabs.
  3. Sterile containers and collection materials for urine, sputum or CSF specimens.
  4. Cold packs or dry ice.
  5. Insulated shipping boxes/containers with appropriate shipping labels.
  1. Be sure to properly label the specimen tube with at least the patient’s name and date of collection.
  2. Check the expiration date on the VTM tube to ensure product is acceptable and will continue to be acceptable once received at the IDOH laboratory.
  3. After collection, all specimens should be stored at refrigerator temperature (2-8°C) until shipped.  If longer storage is required, place specimens in a -70°C freezer (NEVER store, even temporarily, in a regular, -20°C freezer — this temperature will kill virus).  Additionally, avoid freeze- thaw cycles, which is also lethal to viruses. Specimens must be received within 5 days of collection if stored at refrigerated temperatures.
  4. Specimens can be submitted to the IDOH Laboratories by LimsNet, an online system that will make results available as PDF files the minute they are released at the lab.  To get a free LimsNet account established at your facility for electronic submission and results reporting, call the help desk at (888) 535-0011 or email to
  5. Special Instructions for Specimen Collection
    1. Parotid gland/buccal swab:  Collect fluid by swabbing the buccal cavity (the space between the cheek and the teeth).  The parotid duct drains in this space near the upper molars.  Massage the parotid gland area just in front of the ear and near the angle of the jaw for 30 seconds prior to collecting secretions on the swab.  Swab the area between the cheek and the gum by sweeping the swab near the upper molar to the lower molar area.  Place the swab immediately in a transport tube containing VTM.
    2. Urine:  Collect 2-5 ml of midstream, clean-catch urine in a sterile container.  A catheter urine specimen may also be used.
    3. CSF: Collect at least 2 ml, if possible.
    4. Bone Marrow: withdraw a sample of the liquid part of the bone marrow by inserting a hollow needle through an incision and on through the bone into the bone marrow cavity of the iliac crest.
  1. Wrap the labeled specimen container with absorbent material and place in a biohazard specimen bag. Be sure to package each patient’s specimens individually to avoid cross-contamination.
  2. Place the LimsNet cover page/requisition form in the side pocket of the biohazard bag.  Never place the form in with the specimen in case the specimen leaks during transit. If the specimen bag does not have 2 compartments, place the paperwork in a separate ziploc bag.
  3. Place the specimen(s) in a styrofoam container with sufficient cold packs to maintain 4°C during shipment. For swabs, urine, or CSF, if needed, dry ice can also be used if the specimen is frozen and/or transport time may be longer than 24 hours.  If dry ice is used, do not form an airtight seal on the styrofoam container because dry ice releases carbon dioxide gas.
  4. Place the styrofoam container into a cardboard shipping box, close lid, and seal.
  5. Ship or transport by courier, the box compliant with DOT and IATA regulations (Category B UN3373). Ship to:

    Indiana Department of Health Laboratory
    Virology Lab
    550 W. 16th Street, Suite B
    Indianapolis, IN 46202

PCR results will be available in 1-2 business days.
Viral culture results will be available in 2-15 business days.
Test Referral: Isolates may be forwarded to the CDC for additional testing.