Ordering Recommendation

Use to detect common respiratory viruses as well as herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Molecular methods may offer improved sensitivity. Respiratory Viruses Rapid Culture (2001504) offers a faster turnaround time.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), nasopharyngeal aspirate, swab, or washing, or tracheal aspirate, sputum, throat, tissue (lung, etc.).

Specimen Preparation

Fluid: Transfer 3 mL specimen to a sterile container. (Min: 0.5 mL) Also acceptable: Transfer to 3 mL viral transport media (ARUP Supply #12884) available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at 800-522-2787.
Swab or Tissue:
Place in 3 mL viral transport media (ARUP Supply #12884) available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at 800-522-2787.

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Calcium alginate, eSwab, dry, or wood swabs.


Specimen source preferred.


Ambient: 2 hours; Refrigerated: 72 hours; Frozen: Unacceptable


Cell Culture




3-14 days

Reference Interval


Interpretive Data

Refer to report.

Compliance Category



Identification is billed separately from culture. Viruses that can be isolated by culture include adenovirus; cytomegalovirus; enterovirus; herpes simplex virus; influenza A and B; parainfluenza types 1, 2, 3; RSV; and varicella-zoster virus. However, virus-specific tests are recommended and are listed below.

The following test is standard-of-care for diagnosing Adenovirus infection in tissue specimens:
Adenovirus by Qualitative PCR (ARUP test code 2007473)

The following tests are recommended for detecting a specific virus in specimens other than CSF. If a specific virus is suspected, please indicate the virus on the test request.

Cytomegalovirus. Refer to Cytomegalovirus Rapid Culture (ARUP test code 0065004)
Human metapneumovirus (hMPV). hMPV can be detected by DFA staining or nucleic acid testing. Refer to Human Metapneumovirus by DFA (ARUP test code 0060779) and Respiratory Viruses DFA (ARUP test code 0060289), or Human Metapneumovirus by PCR (ARUP test code 0060784)
Mumps virus. Refer to Mumps Virus by PCR (ARUP test code 3000523).
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Refer to Respiratory Syncytial Virus DFA (ARUP test code 0060288)
Varicella-zoster virus. Refer to Varicella-Zoster Virus DFA with Reflex to Varicella-Zoster Virus Culture (ARUP test code 0060282)

Hotline History


CPT Codes

87252; if definitive identification performed, add 87253


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
2006499 Viral Culture, Respiratory 6584-7
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Adenovirus Culture
  • CMV culture
  • Culture for virus
  • cytomegalovirus
  • enterovirus
  • herpes simplex virus
  • HSV culture
  • influenza A and B
  • parainfluenza types 1, 2, 3
  • RSV culture
  • varicella-zoster virus
  • VSV culture
Viral Culture, Respiratory