Meningo-encephalitis viral PCR screen on CSF




  • Used for patients with suspected viral meningo-encephalitis
  • The test is usually performed on a lymphocytic CSF
  • This screen comprises:
  • Other viral PCR tests may be available after discussion with the Consultant Microbiologist, e.g. HHV6 in children, CMV in immuno-suppressed patients etc.

Sample requirements

This will be performed on selected CSF samples sent for microscopy and culture.

See Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)

Required information

  • Relevant clinical details
  • Date of onset
  • Length of history
  • Prior administration of antibiotics
  • Contact with other suspected cases
  • Vaccination history


Refrigerate immediately after collection

Transport to the laboratory without delay

See CSF transport flowchart

Turnaround time

Sent to a Regional Reference Centre

Up to 7 days

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2013