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Test ID: LENT Enterovirus, Molecular Detection, PCR, Varies

Reporting Name

Enterovirus PCR

Useful For

Aiding in diagnosing enterovirus infections


This test should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients

Clinical Information

Enteroviruses are positive-sense RNA viruses in the Picornaviridae family. These viruses were initially classified by serotype as polioviruses (3 types), echoviruses (31 types, including types 22 and 23, which are now classified as parechoviruses), coxsackievirus A (23 types), and coxsackievirus B (6 types). However, genomic studies have demonstrated that there is significant overlap in the biological characteristics of different serotypes and more recently isolated enteroviruses are now named with consecutive numbers (eg, EV68, EV69).


The normal site of enterovirus replication is the gastrointestinal tract where the infection is typically subclinical. However, in a proportion of cases, the virus spreads to other organs, causing systemic manifestations, including mild respiratory disease (eg, the common cold); conjunctivitis; hand, foot, and mouth disease; aseptic meningitis; myocarditis; and acute flaccid paralysis. Collectively, enteroviruses are the most common cause of upper respiratory tract disease in children. In addition, the enteroviruses are the most common cause of central nervous system (CNS) disease; they account for almost all viruses recovered in culture from spinal fluid. Differentiation of enteroviruses from other viruses and bacteria that cause CNS disease is important for the appropriate medical management of these patients.


Traditional cell culture methods require 6 days, on average, for enterovirus detection. In comparison, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows same-day detection. Detection of enterovirus nucleic acid by PCR is also the most sensitive diagnostic method for the diagnosis of CNS infection caused by these viruses.


A positive result indicates the presence of enterovirus RNA in the specimen.

Report Available

2 to 3 days

Day(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday

Clinical Reference

1. Khetsuriani N, Lamonte-Fowlkes A, Oberst S, et al: Enterovirus surveillance-United States, 1970-2005. MMWR Surveill Summ, 2006 Sep 15;55(8):1-20

2. Abedi GR, Watson JT, Nix WA, Oberste MS, Gerber S: Enterovirus and Parechovirus Surveillance - United States, 2014-2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 May 11;67(18):515–518

3. Foray S, Pailloud F, Thouvenot D, Aymard M, Lina B: Evaluation of combining upper respiratory tract swab samples with cerebrospinal fluid examination for the diagnosis of enteroviral meningitis in children. J Med Virol. 1999 Feb;57(2):193-197

4. Furione M, Zavattoni M, Gatti M, Percivalle E, Fioroni N, Gerna G: Rapid detection of enteroviral RNA in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from patients with aseptic meningitis by reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction. New Microbiol. 1998 Oct;21(4):343-351

Method Name

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/RNA Probe Hybridization

Specimen Type


Ordering Guidance

This test will detect enterovirus but will not differentiate viruses in this family or provide serotyping information.

Necessary Information

1. Specimen source is required.

2. Source information should include main anatomical site of collection.

Specimen Required

Submit a raw clinical sample (not a culture isolate) for enterovirus testing.


Submit only 1 of the following specimens:


Specimen Type: Body fluid

Sources: Pericardial, peritoneal

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions: Do not centrifuge.


Specimen Type: Spinal fluid

Container/Tube: Sterile vial

Specimen Volume: 0.5 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Submit specimen from collection vial 2.

2. Do not centrifuge.


Specimen Type: Swab

Supplies: Culturette (BBL Culture Swab) (T092)

Sources: Dermal, eye, rectal, genital, nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, throat, nasal, or urethral

Container/Tube: Multimicrobe media (M4-RT) or similar viral transport media (M4 or M5) and Eswab

Specimen Volume: Entire specimen

Collection Instructions:

1. Rectal swab must have no visible fecal matter

2. Place swab back into multimicrobe media (M4-RT, M4, or M5)


Specimen Type: Respiratory

Sources: Bronchial washing, bronchoalveolar lavage, nasopharyngeal aspirate or washing, pleural fluid, sputum, or tracheal aspirate

Container/Tube: Sterile container

Specimen Volume: 1.5 mL

Collection Instructions: Do not centrifuge.

Specimen Minimum Volume

Fluids: 0.3 mL; Swab: See Specimen Required

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Frozen  7 days

Reference Values


Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
LENT Enterovirus PCR 93856-3


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
SRC68 Specimen Source 39111-0
80066 Enterovirus PCR 93856-3

Testing Algorithm

For more information see Meningitis/Encephalitis Panel Algorithm


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.

Mayo Clinic Laboratories | Microbiology and Infectious Disease Catalog Additional Information:

mml-mbid-cnsinfections, mml-respiratoryinfections