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Utah Public Health Laboratory


Fee: Please refer to fee schedule

Ordering Recommendation

Norovirus PCR is for qualitative detection of Norovirus from patients associated with an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness. Prior to submitting specimen, testing must be approved by UDOH Epidemiology at (801)538-6191.


Monday – Friday at California Public Health Laboratory.


Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)


2-7 days

Specimen Required

  • Collect: Stool specimens.
  • Specimen Preparation: Stool placed in Cary Blair transport media
  • Storage/Transport Conditions:Keep at 2 – 8 degrees C (if frozen, transport frozen).
  • Unacceptable Conditions:
  • Remarks:A minimum two specimens per outbreak is required for testing; a maximum of ten specimens per outbreak is acceptable for testing.
  • Stability: Stool specimens should be kept refrigerated at 4 degrees C until they can be sent to the laboratory. Samples stored at this temperature can be kept for 2-3 weeks without compromising diagnostic yield. Samples should be frozen if they cannot be shipped to the laboratory within 3 weeks.


Detected or Not Detected

Interpretive Data

Norovirus nucleic acid detected or not detected.


Ideally stool specimens should be obtained during the acute phase of illness (within 48-72 hours of diarrhea onset) while the stools are still liquid or semisolid because the level of excretion is greatest then. The increased sensitivity of molecular assays (PCR) often allows the virus to be detected in stools collected up to 7-10 days after onset. For specimens collected late in the illness, the utility of viral diagnosis and interpretation of the test results should be discussed with laboratory personnel before tests are conducted.

Cross References