Specimen Collection Guidelines

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Urine Specimens

Processing Urine for Viral Isolation


  • Sterile plastic cup with lid (50ml or more)
  • Clean, screw-top specimen transport containers (“universal” containers are often used)
  • Gauze pads
  • Soap and clean water (or normal saline) if possible


Step Action
1. Centrifuge the specimen at 1,500 rpm for 5 min.
2. Re-suspend the sediment in 0.5 to 2ml of viral transport media
3. Label the vial with patient’s name type of specimen and date of collection.
4. Refrigerate at 4-8°C and send as soon as possible to CARPHA or store at -70ºC if shipping is delayed.


  • Transport to the laboratory within 2-3 hours of collection. If this is not possible, do not freeze but keep the specimen refrigerated at 4-8°C.
  • Keeping the specimen refrigerated will decrease the risk of overgrowth of contaminating organisms
  • Ensure that transport containers are leak-proof and tightly sealed.