Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Enterovirus PCR - dermal lesion specimen

  • LIS Mnemonic: ENTPCR


    Dermal lesion swab submitted in viral transport medium. Collect cells and fluid from vesicular skin lesions and/or vesicular/ulcerative lesions in the mouth as the primary specimen sources. Detectio

    Volume Required


    Minimum Required



    Keep specimen at 4C


    Collect cells and fluid from fresh vesicles on the skin and/or from vesicles or ulcers in the mouth. Uncap the vesicle with a sterile needle or scalpel blade and use a sterile rayon or Dacron tipped, plastic shafted swab to collect the fluid and vigorously swab the opened lesion to obtain infected epithelial cells. To facilitate binding of the cellular material to the swab, the swab can be premoistened with sterile saline. Be certain to fully express the excess liquid from the swab before attempting to collect the specimen. For ulcers, use a sterile swab to vigorously swab the base of the lesion to obtain cells. Crusted lesions should have the crust removed and discarded before collection of cells from the lesion base. The swab should be immediately placed in viral transport medium and sent to the Clinical Virology Laboratory.

    Unacceptable conditions

    Swab specimen 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. Also, specimens for molecular testing should not be stored at room temperature or fro

Days Performed



Same day

Reflex Testing





Amplification and detection of enterovirus RNA 5'-untranslated region using TaqMan real-time PCR technology. This test is performed pursuant to an agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Disease Information


Used for the laboratory diagnosis of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD; febrile illness with a vesicular rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, and painful vesicular/ucerative sores in the mouth) and herpangina (vesicular rash of the fauces and soft palate of the mouth accompanied by fever, sore throat, and pain on swallowing). With HFMD due to coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6), the rash and fever are more severe, the rash is more extensive, and hospitalization is more common than with your typical cases of HFMD caused by other enteroviruses such as coxsackivirus A16 and enterovirus 71. The rash associated with CVA6 can be much more impressive and painful and can appear not only on the hands, feet and mouth but also on the arms, legs, trunk, face, nail matrices, and buttocks.


If positive, results are reported as enterovirus RNA detected.

Reference Values

Negative or no enterovirus RNA detected.

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