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STI testing

Microbiology

Herpes Simplex Virus PCR Update

As of April 5th, 2022, Herpes Simplex viral PCR testing will transition from being performed in the Spectrum Health Molecular department to the Microbiology department. There are no changes to the acceptable specimen sources for this test (cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma specimens). Benefits of the new Microbiology testing method include:

• The new test method (DiaSorin Simplexa® HSV PCR) is FDA-cleared for testing spinal fluid specimens with a validated modification for testing plasma specimens. The prior method was a lab-developed test for both specimen types.

• Especially for pediatric patients, collecting sufficient specimen volumes can sometimes be challenging. The new method requires a minimum of 0.05 mL specimen per run whereas the prior method required 0.2 mL specimen.

• The frequency of testing will increase from typically one run per day to testing being performed at several times each day.

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Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information

Self-Swab for STI Testing

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.

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Advanced Technology Laboratory, Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Main lab, Microbiology, Molecular Diagnostics, Test Utilization

REMINDER: Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) PCR and HSV Culture Orders

As of January 13, 2020, the Spectrum Health Microbiology Laboratory will switch any viral culture orders placed on cutaneous or mucocutaneous lesion specimens to molecular PCR testing as the preferred diagnostic method.

Please refer to these documents for specimen collection information and appropriate ordering codes:

HSV PCR Epic Codes

HSV PCR Interface Codes

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