Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR (Qualitative) - stool specimen

  • LIS Mnemonic: CMVPCR


    Stool in a sterile, leak-proof container

    Volume Required

    2 to 4 ml of liquid stool; 2 to 4 grams of formed stool

    Minimum Required

    2 ml of liquid stool; 2 grams of formed stool


    Keep specimen at 4C


    The specimen of choice is stool. Rectal swabs are inferior to stool specimens for the detection of viruses and are discouraged. If it is necessary to collect a rectal swab, a sufficient quantity of fecal material (at least a pea-sized amount) should be obtained. If fecal material is not clearly visible on the swab, the specimen is most likely inadequate. Rectal swabs should be immediately placed in viral transport medium. If an extended delay in transport of specimens is anticipated, rapidly freeze the specimens to at least -60°C and transport to the laboratory on dry ice. Please consult the laboratory if necessary.

    Unacceptable conditions

    Swab specimens not received in viral transport medium or received in bacteriological transport medium are discouraged. DO NOT USE CALCIUM ALGINATE OR WOODEN SHAFT SWABS FOR COLLECTION OF SPECIMENS; ONLY USE DACRON OR RAYON TIPPED SWABS ON PLASTIC OR METAL SHAFTS.

Days Performed



Same day

Reflex Testing





Amplification and detection of CMV DNA polymerase gene using TaqMan real-time PCR technology. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.


If positive, results are reported as cytomegalovirus DNA detected.

Reference Values

Negative or no cytomegalovirus DNA detected

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