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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Sites requesting testing must have approval from the appropriate state or local health department before submitting specimens. Approval must be sent to NPHL by email at or by calling (402) 559-9444.

A Special Microbiology Form must accompany the specimens. Some tests require additional forms and patient history. This will be listed below when applicable. When requested, testing will not be performed without all required information.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406 for further clarification.


  Test: Chikungunya Virus RNA Detection  
  Synonym: Arbovirus, Chikungunya virus RT-PCR 
  Method: RT-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 
  Availability: Test performed Monday-Friday; Turn-around time 1-3 weeks 
  Specimen: Serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 
  Collection Device: Clot (Red) or SST(Gold) tube,
CSF collection tube
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and required 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
  Volume: Serum:1 mL; Minimum:0.25 mL (additional testing for dengue virus and Zika virus requires separate containers);
CSF 1.0 mL  
  Storage/Transport: Prior to and during shipment: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into sterile leak-proof tube, ASAP. Place both CSF and serum at 4°C.
Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Package and ship as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Place in biohazard bag with absorbent material. Refrigerated specimen should be shipped on cold packs Transport by NPHL ground courier (NPHL brown shipper not required). If courier not available, contact Client Services (866) 290-1406 to arrange pickup. See instructions and shipping address: Do not send directly to CDC  
  Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-inactivated serum; multiple freeze thaw cycles 
  Specimen Stability: 2-8°C for 72 h, if > 3 d, freeze 
  Reference Interval: NEGATIVE - No significant level of detectable chikungunya virus RNA
POSITIVE – Chikungunya virus RNA detected  
  Reportable Disease: A positive result is reportable as Arbovirus infection under Title 173, report within 7 days  
  Comments: Pre-approval needed from the state or local health department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

Test Request Order Form must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history.

During the first 7 days of illness, viral RNA can often be identified in serum and RT-PCR is the preferred test. Therefore, to definitively rule out the diagnosis, convalescent-phase samples should be obtained from patient whose acute-phase samples test negative. Refer to Chikungunya Virus Antibody IgM test for specimen collection after 7 days.  
  Revised: 12/18/2018 


If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (866) 290-1406.