Influenza A/B PCR

Alphabetical Test listing

Influenza A/B PCR-8810

Influenza A/B PCR
Flu test

This assay will detect Avian Influenza (positive for Influenza A), however, if confirmation of the Avian Influenza specifically is required, the provider will  need to work with the MN Department of Health directly to arrange for typing.

MLS Laboratory Update: Guidance for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Testing


Please have patient blow their nose prior to NP and nasal collections. Excessive mucus is known inhibitor/interfering substance for molecular testing.

Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab
Nasal or Oropharyngeal - (Allina Health Clinic Ambulatory patients only)

Copan UTM-RT

Effective 11/2022 - For Allina Health Clinic Ambulatory patients only:

Hologic Direct Load Tube


Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab collection:

Use the mini-tip NP swab included with the COPAN UTM-RT

  1. Tip the patient’s head back.
  2. Gently insert the NP swab into the nostril parallel to the palate (not upwards) until resistance is encountered or the distance is equivalent to that from the ear to the nostril of the patient, indicating contact with the nasopharynx.   
    1. If any resistance is met in the passageways, do not force the swab; back off and try reinserting it at a different angle, closer to the floor of the nasal canal, or try the other nostril.
  3. Gently rub and roll the swab for 10-15 seconds while the swab is in contact with the nasopharyngeal wall.
  4. The CDC recommends leaving the swab in place for several seconds to absorb secretions.
  5. Slowly remove the swab and place in the transport medium.
  6. Break the swab shaft so that it fits into the medium container and recap tightly.
  7. Label the specimen appropriately. Document the source “NP” on the label.

New England Journal of Medicine video on NP swab collection: Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection Video



For Allina Health Clinic Ambulatory patients:

The Hologic Direct Load Tube allows for Nasal/OP collection using the pink proprietary swab.

Nasal collection

  1. Insert swab in one nostril 1/2”-3/4” until swab tip is no longer visible.
  2. Rotate the swab using moderate pressure along the nostril wall at least 4 times.
  3. Complete the collection by swabbing the other nostril in the same fashion.
  4. Uncap the transport media, insert the swab into the media, break swab against the tube at the score line, recap.

OP Collection

  1. Carefully swab both sides of the posterior pharyngeal wall while rotating the swab.
  2. Avoid touching the cheek(s) or tongue.
  3. Uncap the transport media, insert the swab into the media, break swab against the tube at the score line, recap.

Copan UTM-RT

Hologic Direct Load Tube - Allina Health Clinic Ambulatory Patients only


Phosphate Buffered Saline (PBS)

COVID-19/Coronavirus sample collection kit


Copan UTM-RT

  • Refrigerated - 72 hours

Hologic Direct Load Tube - (Allina Health Clinic Ambulatory)

  • Refrigerated - 6 days
  • Ambient - 6 days
  • Improper label (unlabeled or mislabeled)
  • Swabs other than nasopharyngeal (NP) or nasal
  • Time delay between time of collection and receipt of specimen
  • Improper transport container
  • Improper transport temperature
  • Interfering substances
  • Inappropriate specimen type
  • Leaking container
AHL - Microbiology: M
Routine - 1 day
STAT - 2.0 hrs after receipt at AHL

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)




When to order the Influenza A/B/H1N1 PCR:

  • Inpatients
  • ED patients being admitted
  • Seriously ill patients

Excessive mucus is a known inhibitor/interfering substance for molecular tests. Review specimen tab for patient preparation.