Clinical Specimen Submission Guidance

Submit all specimens to 50 Orms St, Providence RI 02915. Open Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Zika virus infection

Lab STI & Arbovirus Laboratory 401-222-5591
Organism Zika virus
Disease Zika Virus Infection
Test Description

Trioplex PCR and Zika IgM MAC-ELISA.

Testing performed is based on patient clinical history, specimen source and collection date. PREAUTHORIZATION REQUIRED

Serology IgM is performed on serum specimens collected up to 12 weeks from onset of symptoms.

PCR is performed on serum, CSF and urine specimens collected up to 12 weeks from onset of symptoms for all pregnant females; all other patient categories tested up to 14 days from onset of symptoms.

Due to known cross-reactivity among the flaviviruses, IgM testing for Dengue will also be performed on serum specimens from symptomatic patients. The Trioplex PCR report for serum will include Dengue and Chikungunya virus results.

Specimens with positive or equivocal IgM results will be forwarded for PRNT.

Special Instructions

PREAUTHORIZATION by the RIDOH Center for Acute Infectious Disease Epidemiology (401) 222-2577 is required prior to transporting specimens.


Serum: collect blood in a serum separator tube, spin, pour off serum and submit >=2.0 mL in a sterile screw-capped plastic tube.

The following are only accepted when accompanied by a matching serum:

Urine: >=2.0 mL in a sterile screw capped plastic tube

CSF: >= 0.5 mL in a sterile screw capped plastic tube

Store specimens at 2 - 8C.

If specimen cannot be transported to RISHL within 24 hours, then the specimen should be frozen at or below -20C.

CLIA regulations require two patient identifiers on the specimen container and the test requisition.

Form Required

Rhode Island State Health Laboratories (RISHL) test requisition form

Test Request

Write in "Zika testing" on comment line of requisition form


Transport specimens as soon as possible. Must be received within 4 days of collection.

Specimens must be transported on wet ice or equivalent cooling material and packaged in accordance with current federal shipping regulations.

If specimen previously frozen it must be transported on dry ice.

Containers specifically labeled for transport of specimens and isolates to the RISHL STI & Arbovirus Laboratory are available in all serology labs and send out departments.

Normal Value

Negative for Zika virus

Negative for IgM to Zika virus

Reporting Requirement Providers must report patient information on Zika Virus Infection immediately using the RIDOH reportable disease form.
Turnaround Time

PCR and Serolgy = 5 days

PRNT (performed at Massachusetts State Health Laboratory) = up to 2 weeks