The mitigation strategies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of this virus have also impacted the transmission of other respiratory viruses. Influenza is typically prevalent during the winter months (December through March), however, influenza cases were essentially non-existent during the 2020-2021 season and influenza is not currently circulating in our community.
In the absence of circulating influenza activity, it is recommended to use the most sensitive diagnostic test in order to obtain accurate and actionable results. Influenza antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) is not appropriate at this time. More detailed information can be found as published by the CDC: Algorithm to assist in the interpretation of influenza testing results and clinical decision-making during periods when influenza viruses are NOT circulating in the community
Effective July 1, 2021, the Coagulation Department within the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will go live with an in-house, bovine based, Chromogenic Factor VIII assay.
This assay, a photometric determination of Factor VIII activity, is useful for monitoring coagulation factor replacement therapy of selected extended half-life coagulation factor replacements and Emicizumab therapy, a recombinant, monoclonal antibody that restores the function of the missing activated factor VIII by bridging FIXa and FX. The action of Emicizumab interferes with all APTT clot based and human chromogenic based assays, leading to an overestimation of Factor VIII activity. As such, the bovine based Chromogenic Factor VIII assay is recommended. The Chromogenic Factor VIII activity also assists in the diagnosis of hemophilia A using a 2-stage assay, particularly when the 1-stage clot based assay is normal.
For questions about this test, please refer to the laboratory catalog or use the Contact Us link above.
Chromogenic Factor VIII Activity – Epic Code: LAB1230831 | Interface Code: 1230831 | CPT: 85240
If you are collecting COVID-19 swabs in your office or clinic, please order and collect using the saline swab kits (“liquid media” or “wet collection”) instead of the tube with no liquid media (“dry collection”).
• Liquid media swab kits will provide a faster turn-around time.
• Dry collection kits supplies are low.
Please refer to the COVID-19 PCR test in the Lab Catalog for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 collection.
• COVID-19 PCR Swab – LAB1230607
Self-collected vaginal swabs may be used for STI testing as opposed to provider-collected swabs. Self-collected swabs are supported by current clinical guidelines as recent studies have shown their equivalence, if not superiority, in quality and their association with increased patient satisfaction.
NOTE: Self-collection must still take place in a healthcare setting and is not approved for at-home collection.
Spectrum Health Immunochemistry Laboratory is pleased to announce 5 new allergen tests and the addition of Tryptase. The following allergens are now available:
As of 5/18/2021 – Production of collection kits is no longer limited. Please resume normal ordering practices.
There is a national shortage of testing and collection material for Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT) and Gonococcal (GC) infections. Spectrum Health is currently experiencing difficulties obtaining collection kits to perform the testing for all methods.
Effective December 9, 2020, the following insect allergen components will be available:
◊ Allergen Honey Bee Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230747, Interface #1230747, CPT 86008
◊ Allergen Common Wasp (Yellow Jacket) Component Panel – EPIC #LAB1230752, Interface #1230752, CPT 86008
◊ Allergen Paper Wasp Component rPol d 5 – EPIC #LAB1230754, Interface #1230754, CPT 86008
◊ Cross-reactive Carbohydrate Determinant (CCD) – EPIC #LAB1230755, Interface #1230755, CPT 86008
As of February 11, 2021, this has been resolved. Testing has resumed at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Immunochemistry Department.
Starting November 1, 2020, the Lyme Total Antibody test will temporarily not be performed in-house and will be sent out to the Mayo Clinic Laboratories using the Lyme Disease Serology, Serum. This is due to the backorder of reagents from the vendor until approximately January 2021.
Lyme Disease Serology, Serum is available to order in Epic. Lyme Total Antibody will still be available to order, however, when the specimen arrives to the laboratory the order will be switched to the Lyme Disease Serology, Serum.
Similarly, to the current in-house test, the Mayo assay is also a Lyme total antibody assay, detecting both IgG and IgM antibodies, with the same specimen type as the in-house test. However, test turn-around-times may be increased.
Lastly, this change will have no effect on the reflexing of positive samples to the confirmatory Lyme Disease Antibody, Immunoblot, Serum.
At this time when Influenza prevalence is not widespread in the community, please order “Influenza A/B PCR” [LAB3255] when testing is needed. This applies to patients at all Grand Rapids and regional hospitals, and also system wide ambulatory patients.