Respiratory Pathogens Panel  

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.

Please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459 for further clarification.


Test: Respiratory Pathogen Panel  
Synonym: Virus Respiratory PCR, FilmArray Respiratory Panel 
Method: Qualitative nucleic acid amplified multiplex PCR assay  
Availability: Varies according to test volume; refer to laboratory for testing interval. Specimens received by 0400 on testing days will have same day results.  
Specimen: Nasopharyngeal wash, nasopharyngeal swab, or BAL  
Collection Device: Universal viral transport media (1 - 2 mL), Starswab viral transport tube, or sterile tube for BAL.  
Volume: Collect 2 - 3 mL nasopharyngeal wash (using normal saline) or 2 - 3 mL BAL  
Storage/Transport: Store refrigerated and transport within 72 hours  
Unacceptable: Slides, smears; unacceptable specimens (sputum; tracheal aspirate; lung tissue biopsy; and pleural fluid); samples collected in non-viral transport media or using a bacterial culture swab; dry swabs; wood shaft or calcium alginate swabs; samples collected in EIA or ProbeTec transport media  
Specimen Stability: Refrigerated, 72 hours  
Reference Interval: Negative for Influenza Type A virus, Influenza A subtype H1 virus (seasonal), Influenza A subtype H1 virus (pandemic 2009), Influenza A subtype H3 virus (seasonal), Influenza B virus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza viruses (1, 2, 3 and 4), Human Rhinovirus/Enterovirus, Human Metapneumovirus, Adenovirus, Coronavirus (HKU1, NL63, 229E, and OC43), Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae  
Reportable Disease: A positive Adenovirus, Influenza A virus, Influenza B virus, RSV, or Bordetella pertussis result is reportable 
Comments: This test is now being recommended for the management of severely ill or hospitalized patients. Subtyping influenza may be helpful in predicting antiviral susceptibility. 
Revised: 10/3/2013 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.