Herpes Simplex Virus Culture  

IMPORTANT! Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to NPHL@unmc.edu 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: Culture, Herpes Simplex  
Synonym: Herpes Culture; Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 Culture; HSV Culture  
Method: Cell Culture  
Availability: Daily; results in 1-7 days  
Specimen: Vesicle fluid and cells from lesion or CSF; for other sources order Viral Culture, General  
Collection Device: Starswab Multitrans Collection and Transport System or equivalent

Specimen Collection:
1. Aseptically remove sterile swab from package.
2. Collect specimen by vigorously swabbing site involved.
3. Aseptically remove cap from vial.
4. Insert swab into medium and break swab at the scored line.
5. Replace cap on vial. Close tightly.
6. Fill out vial label with patient's name, date of birth, and source of specimen.
7. Refrigerate during transport.  


Unacceptable: Samples in non-viral transport media, bacterial culture swabs, dry swabs, wood shaft or calcium alginate swabs, samples in EIA and Probetec transport media  
Specimen Stability: Stable at refrigerated  
Reference Interval: No CPE detected  
Reportable Disease:  
Revised: 2/13/2012 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.