Norovirus PCR

Qualitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of both Norovirus Genogroups I & II RNA in stool and vomitus. Daily and weekend testing is available and is performed during outbreaks and periods of high prevalence, and if samples reach the lab by 9.30am a result should be available the same day. Note: Please inform Infection control of all positive Norovirus PCR results on in-patients. The turnaround time is 2 working days (seasonal). Note: If using Electronic Patient Record (EPR) please order "Norovirus Test PCR".
Clinical details: 
Norovirus is a common cause of viral gastroenteritis. It is associated with significant winter epidemics and very high secondary transmission rates in care facilities and other institutions causing significant morbidity and some mortality particularly in the over 65 age group. In addition to faeco-oral transmission it is also thought that airborne transmission can occur. Infection in the immuno-compromised can be protracted and significantly disabling.
Reference range: 

Not Applicable

Synonyms or keywords: 
Noro, Norwalk, Winter vomiting, gastroenteritis
Qualitative Test - Detected/Not Detected
Sample type and Volume required: 
Faeces or vomitus. Samples to be collected in a sterile universal container with no additives.
Call in advance: 
Please contact Infection Control for advice.
Turnaround time: 
2 working days (seasonal)
Storage and transport: 
Place labelled sample in a sealed sample bag and send to Central Specimen Reception (CSR). Samples should be sent to Central Specimen Reception (CSR) promptly as the sensitivity of assays that detect RNA/DNA depend on sample quality/integrity. Please store samples in a refrigerator if there is a delay in sending samples to CSR.
Infection Sciences Department at St Thomas' Hospital
020 7188 8008
St Thomas' Hospital
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
Core opening hours: Monday-Friday 0900-1730

For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 06/10/2023