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of Nebraskans through diagnostic laboratory
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Testing Results
IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.

NPHL has moved to an electronic ordering system, NUlirt, and it is now the preferred method to order all tests. Once ordered, print a "batch list" (see NUlirt Guide).

Forms Required - Nulirt batch list or NPHL Test Request Form (completed in entirety) must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. Testing will not be performed without all required information.


  Test: Dengue Virus RNA Detection
Order in NUlirt or complete NPHL Test Order Form  
  Synonym: Arbovirus, dengue 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 requires 2 patient identifiers and specimen source on container.  
  Volume: Serum:1 mL;   Minimum:0.25 mL (additional testing for dengue and Zika requires separate containers); 
CSF 1.0 mL  
  Storage/Transport: Prior to and during shipment: Refrigerate 2-8°C.  Centrifuge and aliquot serum into sterile leak-proof tube, ASAP.  Place both CSF and serum at 2-8°C.
Ship in insulated box on frozen gel-packs.
Ship as Category B.  Place packing list or other paperwork on top of Styrofoam and lid. Mark out rigid box as UN3373 Category B, Biological Substance. Transport by NPHL ground courier. If courier not available, ship by FedEx, UPS or USPS (1st Class, Priority or Express Mail). Follow appropriate DOT/IATA Regulation Guidelines.  For assistance, call NPHL State Training Coordinator at (402) 559-3590.  
See instructions and shipping address:
NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.  
  Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-inactivated serum; multiple freeze thaw cycles  
  Specimen Stability: 2-8°C for 72 hours, if > 3 days, freeze  
  Reference Interval: NEGATIVE - No significant level of detectable dengue virus RNA
POSITIVE – Dengue virus RNA detected  
  Reportable Disease:  A positive result is reportable as Arbovirus infection under Title 173, report within 7 days. Refer to Nebraska DHHS Title 173, Communicable Diseases.  
  Comments: Pre-approval needed from state or local health department.  Send approval to or call (402) 559-9444.
Documentation must accompany the specimen to include the following information:  symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history. 
During the first 7d of these illnesses, viral RNA can often be identified in serum, and RT-PCR is the preferred test for all chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses. Refer to Dengue Fever Virus Antibody IgM test for specimens collected after 7d.
Test performed at the CDC.  
  Revised: 3/25/2021 


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