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Influenza Viral Testing

Flu Testing

Influenza A and B viruses are responsible for respiratory epidemics each year. Influenza A Viruses are categorized by their surface proteins: Hemagglutinin (H) and Neuraminidase (N). Since Influenza B viruses are structurally different, they are only broken down into two lineages: B/Yamagata and B/Victoria (CDC, 2017).

The Delaware Public Health Lab performs influenza identification, molecular detection, and genotyping/subtyping. Influenza surveillance is performed as part of the CDC-World Health Organization (WHO) Influenza surveillance effort. This information, along with a select number of isolates, is provided to CDC and the WHO to aid in surveillance efforts and future vaccine formulation. THE INFLUENZA VACCINE IS NOT A GUESS!

What We Do

  • Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR)
  • Influenza A subtyping by rRT-PCR
  • Influenza B genotyping
  • Seasonal H3N2 detection  
  • 2009/H1N1 Pandemic detection
  • H5N1 Avian (presumptive result)
  • H3N2 variant (presumptive result)
  • H7N9 (presumptive result)
  • H7N9 (presumptive result)
  • Pyrosequencing – for anti-viral resistance on a subset of A/H3N2 and pandemic A/H1N1 influenza specimens
  • Respiratory Virus Panel (RVP) – For outbreaks, fatalities, or specimens (with prior approval from the Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Acceptable Specimens

Submitting a Specimen

  • Obtain collection kits from the DPHL. This kit will contain a tube with viral transport media and two dry NP swabs, and the Request for Clinical Testing form.
  • Fill out the form completely.
  • Label the specimen with name of patient and date of birth (or barcode, if applicable).
  • Arrange for specimen transport to the laboratory.

DPH Flu Immunization Information

CDC Flu Page

CDC Guidelines for Clinicians on the Use of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests

References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017. Types of Influenza Viruses.

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