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Test Code 145 Influenza A and B Antigens

Important Note

Lab personnel are not responsible for collecting specimens. This is a nurse or physician collected specimen. The specimen must be labeled with the patient’s name, date of birth, collection date, time and initials of the person who collected the specimen.

Additional Codes


PowerChart: Influenza A/B Antigen

Epic: LAB924 Rapid Influenza A/B Antigens

MA Cerner: Influenza A+B Ag.

Test Method

Qualitative Immunoassay, QuickVue; Quidel Corporation

Specimen Requirement

Nasal swabs: Foam swab included with QuickVue kit (obtained from the laboratory)

Nasal Washes and Nasal Aspirates: 2 mL is required; (nasal wash specimens have slightly better sensitivity).

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Specimen Collection Procedures:

Nasal Swabs:

  1. The only type of swabs that can be used for this procedure are the foam swabs that are included in the QuickVue kit. 
  2. Insert the sterile foam swab into the nostril that presents the most secretion under visual inspection. It is important to obtain as much secretion as possible.            
  3. Using gentle rotation, push the swab until resistance is met at the level of the turbinates (less than one inch into the nostril).  
  4. Rotate the swab a few times against the nasal wall.   
  5. Remove the swab and place back into the appropriately labeled paper wrapper for transport to the lab.

Nasal Wash or Aspirate Specimens:

  1. A minimum of 2 mL of specimen is required. 
  2. With the patient’s head hyper-extended, dispense about 2.5 mL of sterile saline into one nostril using a syringe.
  3. To collect the wash, place a clean, dry specimen container directly under the nose with slight pressure on the upper lip.
  4. Tilt the head forward and allow the fluid to run out of the nostril into the specimen container.
  5. Repeat for the other nostril and collect the fluid into the same specimen container.

Nasal Wash or Aspirate Specimens (Young Children):

  1. A minimum of 2 mL of specimen is required.
  2. Fill an aspiration bulb or bulb syringe with up to 2.5 mL of sterile saline (depending on the size of the child), and squirt the saline into one nostril while the head is tilted back.
  3. Release the pressure on the bulb to aspirate the specimen back into the bulb.
  4. Transfer the specimen into a clean, dry specimen container.
  5. Repeat the process for the child’s other nostril and transfer the specimen into the same specimen container.
  6. Transport fresh specimens to the laboratory as rapidly as possible

Samples are tested as soon as possible after collection. Do not use any kind of transport media to store or transport samples. Specimens may be stored refrigerated at 2-8°C, or at room temperature for up to 8 hours. Nasal wash specimens may also be stored frozen (-70° c) for up to one month.


Testing is performed Monday through Sunday.

Routine orders: Typically completed within 4 hours after specimen arrives at the testing site.

Expedite: Typically completed within 1 hour after specimen arrives at the testing site.

STAT: Typically completed within30 minutes after specimen arrives at the testing site.


Reference Values

Influenza A Antigen: Not present

Influenza B Antigen: Not present

CPT Code Information

87804 Detection Infectious Agent by Immunoassay with Direct Optical Observation: Influenza

Useful For

Aiding in the diagnosis of influenza

LOINC Code Information

24015-0 Influenza Virus A+B Ag [Presence] In Unspecified Specimen

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