Mumps Virus RNA Detection  

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: Mumps Virus RNA Detection  
Synonym: Mumps Virus by RT-PCR 
Method: Reverse Transcriptase (RT) - RNA Amplification  
Availability: Pre-Approval Needed from Local or State Health Department. Approval must be sent to or can notify NPHL by phone at (402) 559-9444.

NPHL Special Microbiology Requisition and Vaccine Preventable Disease forms required. Include vaccination history, age, date of onset, and date of sample collection.

Results available 48 hours after receipt of specimen in reference laboratory.  
Specimen: Swab of buccal area between cheek and gum near the upper molar area is preferred. A throat swab is also acceptable.  
Collection Device: Viral Transport Swab

Specimen Labeling - Test subject to CLIA regulations and requires 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms  
Volume: Swab in viral transport media.  
Storage/Transport: Storage prior to shipment: Refrigerate at 2-8 °C

Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Ship specimen Monday – Saturday, in biohazard bag with absorbent material at 2-8 °C. Transport by NPHL ground courier (NPHL brown shipper not required). If courier not available, contact Client Services at (866) 290-1406 to arrange pickup. Package and ship as Category B, Biological Substance, UN3373. See instructions and shipping address on NPHL website.  
Unacceptable: Wood-tipped applicators, cotton-tipped swabs, calcium-alginate tipped swabs, charcoal swabs, gel swabs, anaerobic media.  
Specimen Stability: Specimen stable for 5 to 7 days refrigerated.  
Reference Interval: PCR negative for measles virus; not detected.  
Reportable Disease: A positive result is reportable within 7 days. 
Comments: A confirmed case is present if the specimen is PCR positive for mumps AND the patient has symptoms consistent with mumps. PCR has optimal sensitivity during the first three days after onset through day nine. PCR testing after nine days however is unlikely to be of benefit and is not generally recommended. PCR assays are not standardized across clinical laboratories and interpretation of PCR results must be done in conjunction with an evaluation of patient signs and symptoms and available epidemiological information. Also consider serological testing as an alternative method for diagnosis. (mumps IgM)

Test Performed at CDC Reference Laboratory 
Revised: 3/7/2017 
If you have questions about proper specimen collection, please call NPHL Client Services at (402) 559-2440 or toll free at (800) 334-0459.