West Nile Virus Testing
West Nile Virus Serology Specimen Collection and Transport
There is no cost for this testing.
- Prior to shipment, each suspect WNV serology specimen must be approved for testing by the IDOH Epidemiologist over the territory.
- Please call the IDOH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 for testing information and additional submission guidance.
- Acceptable specimens:
- serum, minimum 1ml
- whole blood collected in a serum separator (SST) tube (e.g., tiger-top, gold top) then centrifuged to separate serum.
- Specimens must be refrigerated at 2-8°C or frozen at -20°C immediately after collection.
- Refrigerated specimens must ship on frozen packs and arrive at lab within 48 hours of collection.
- Frozen specimens must ship on dry ice and arrive at lab still frozen.
- Whole blood must never be frozen, or it will hemolyze. Hemolyzed, lipemic, or heparinized specimens cannot be tested per assay manufacturer requirements.
- Serum/blood collection materials, including SST, tiger-top, or gold-top tubes
- Frozen packs
- Shipping boxes or containers with appropriate shipping labels
- UN3373 Biological Substances, Category B shipping container
- 9A shipping container provided by IDOH.
- Access to LimsNet online account for entry submission
- Label tube with the date of collection
- Label tube with two of the following patient identifiers, which must match the LimsNet electronic entry for test acceptance:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Your patient ID number
- Collect 3-4 ml whole blood sample in an SST (gold or tiger-top).
- Centrifuge whole blood to fully separate serum from the clot (recommend 10 min at 3000 RPM).
- Refrigerate specimen if shipping same-day, or freeze if >48 hours is needed for specimen to arrive at IDOH Lab.
- Serum may be decanted and shipped in a leak-proof screw-top tube, or SST may be shipped.
- Complete a LimsNet entry for the patient under Serology Outbreak tab, including patient name, date of birth, date of collection, sex, race, county of residence, date of onset, lab tests desired, and reason for testing. In addition, please include patient symptoms, travel history, and related vaccination/immunization history, if appropriate.
- Print a copy of the LimsNet submission cover page to include with shipment.
- Lack of Epidemiologist approval for the patient may cause a significant delay in testing.
- Wrap the labeled specimen tube with absorbent material and place in the inner shipping canister.
- Place LimsNet submission cover page in outer container or in plastic bag to prevent contamination from specimen.
- Place the inner shipping canister and submission cover page into the outer shipping canister.
- Affix a mailing label to the outer canister with a return address and appropriate postage.
- Specimens should be shipped to arrive at IDOH Monday through Friday. It is not recommended to ship specimens which will be in transit over the weekend or holiday.
- Ship to:
Attn: Serology Laboratory
Indiana Department of Health Labs
550 W 16th St Suite B
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Laboratory reports will be sent out via LimsNet and will be available within one to five business days.