TABLE 5

Specimen Requirements (for Specimens Sent to the PAMF-TSL)

Specimen TypeSpecimen AgeContainerShipping ConditionsRecommended Volume, mL
SerumUp to 1 week when stored refrigerated; indefinite when stored frozenSerum-separator tube or red-top tube (centrifuge specimen and, if possible, send serum only)Cold pack or frozen preferred 20°–25°C acceptable; overnight delivery3
CSFUp to 1 week when stored refrigerated; indefinite when stored frozenSterile tubeCold pack or frozen preferred 20°–25°C acceptable; overnight delivery1
  • (1) Specimen requirement for serologic testing is 3 mL of serum from a serum-separator tube or a red-top tube (minimum of 0.5 mL, but this quantity may be insufficient for repeat testing). The specimen should be centrifuged and, if possible, only serum should be sent. Grossly hemolyzed, icteric, lipemic, and bacterially contaminated specimens cannot be tested. Serum specimens can be sent at ambient temperature. (2) The patient’s name and collection date must appear on specimen label. Unlabeled specimens will not be tested. (3) The PAMF-TSL should be contacted at (650) 853-4828 for specimens that do not meet these requirements. For specimens not meeting our requirements, testing can still be performed when authorized by the client. (4) The PAMF-TSL should be contacted at (650) 853-4828 for specimens that are less than the recommended volume. Specimens received with less than recommended volumes may be insufficient for repeat testing. (Also refer to http://www.pamf.org/serology/SpecimenRequirements.pdf for the most recent updates on specimen requirements and testing information.)