Respiratory Pathogen Panel by Multiplex PCR  

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 by Multiplex PCR
Order in NUlirt or complete NPHL Test Order Form  
Synonym: Virus respiratory PCR, FilmArray Respiratory Panel, Multiplex PCR, RESPP  
Method: Qualitative nucleic acid amplified multiplex PCR assay  
Availability: Test performed daily on all shifts.  Reported on same shift received.  During peak season, results will be available within 24h of receipt.  
Specimen: Nasopharyngeal wash (preferred), nasopharyngeal swab or bronchial lavage (BAL).  A recommended procedure to collect a nasopharyngeal wash is listed on  
Collection Device: Nasopharyngeal wash (preferred specimen), normal saline. Also, can submit a nasopharyngeal swab or bronchial lavage.  Place in 1-2mL universal viral transport media or Starswab™ viral transport tube.   Collect 2-3mL BAL in sterile tube.  
Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and requires 2 patient identifiers and specimen source on container.  
Volume: 1-3mL universal viral transport media.  

Prior to and during shipment:   Refrigerate 4-8°C. Specimen must be received in lab within 72hr after collection.
Shipping instructions, including specimen-handling requirements during transport:  Seal screw-top tubes with Parafilm™ or tape and place in biohazard bag with absorbent material.
Place specimen inside leak proof secondary container (biohazard bag and if transporting by air, use Tyvek™ Envelope) with adsorbent material. The secondary container must be packed inside an approved Category B shipping container filled with frozen gel-packs to keep specimen refrigerated. Position NUlirt packing list or NPHL Test Order form between secondary container and box lid. Seal with tape.  Label outer 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: BAL, Sputum, tracheal aspirates, or throat swabs or 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 extracted transport media.  
Specimen Stability: 2-8°C up to 72hr. Specimens may be frozen for long-term storage.  
Reference Interval: Reported as Detected, Not Detected or Equivocal  
Reportable Disease: Report all detected Influenza A virus, CoVID-19, Influenza B virus, RSV, or Bordetella pertussis result immediately to local or state health department. 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.
Ship all specimens with a non-typable influenza result to NPHL.
All positive CoVID-19, Influenza, and B. pertussis results called to the provider. This test is being recommended for the management of severely ill or hospitalized patients. Subtyping influenza may be helpful in predicting antiviral susceptibility and to evaluate circulating strains. NUlirt packing list or appropriate paperwork (completed in entirety) must accompany specimens.  
Revised: 6/21/2021 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.