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Beaumont Laboratory

Measles by PCR

Rubeola by PCR, Testing requires pathology approval prior to collection.


Approval for testing must be obtained prior to specimen collection.

  • Contact the local health department to obtain approval for testing prior to collecting the specimen.
  • The County will coordinate testing with the MDCH Vaccine Preventable Diseases Coordinator.
  • Obtain the name and phone number of the person who approved testing of the specimen.
  • For questions or if there are special circumstances, please contact the Microbiology Technical/Medical Director through Client Services (1-800-551-0488, Option 5).
  • Once approved, order test as a Miscellaneous Sendout (XMISC).

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: A throat, nasopharyngeal (NP), or nasal specimen with a flocked swab, placed in viral transport medium (UVT or UTM). Collect the sample as soon as possible after the rash appears (days 1-3 of the rash). Follow the infection control measures listed below.

  • Secure the cap with tape.
  • Send specimen to the Laboratory immediately after collection, refrigerated.
  • Please see instructions for Nasopharyngeal (NP) Swab Collection.
  • Test Request Forms (MDCH and CDC) can be completed at Beaumont Laboratory once the specimen arrives at the laboratory. Include the name and phone number of the person from the local health department who approved testing on the Beaumont Laboratory requisition.

Infection Control Measures

  • If possible, place the patient in a private room with a mask on. Keep away from other patients in the waiting area.
  • The person collecting the specimen should wear an N95 mask (ideally) or surgical mask while obtaining the specimen.
  • Remove the mask from the patient only long enough to obtain a throat, nasopharyngeal, or nasal swab.
  • After the patient has left the room, wipe all surfaces with an approved disinfectant.

Physician Office/Drawsite Specimen Preparation

Arrange for transport to the Laboratory immediately. Maintain specimens refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Throat, NP, or nasal swab in viral transport medium (UVT, UTM), refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F).

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens obtained without approval from the local health department.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Unacceptable
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 24 hours
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F): Unacceptable
Frozen (-70°C/-94°F or below): Indefinitely

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Specimen retention time is determined by the policy of the reference laboratory. Contact the Sendout Laboratory with any questions.


Testing will be performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Testing is coordinated by the County and the MDCH Vaccine Preventable Diseases Coordinator once approval is obtained.

Reference Range


Test Methodology

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

Clinical Utility

The United States has experienced a multi-state measles outbreak that started in California in December 2014 and has spread to several additional states. Michigan recently confirmed at least one case. This test may be useful if a patient is suspected to have Rubeola (measles) and needs testing for confirmation.

CPT Code


Test Codes

Testing requires pathology approval prior to collection.

Last Updated


Microtainer® and Vacutainer® are registered trademarks of Becton, Dickinson and Company.
UroVysion® is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. ThinPrep® is a registered trademark of Hologic, Incorporated.

This directory currently reflects information only for specimens collected and/or processed at the Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe, Royal Oak, and Troy campuses.