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​H5, H5N1



​For detection of the avian influenza A/H5N1 in patients with severe respiratory infection and travel to or residence in a country where avian influenza A/H5N1  has been detected. The influenza multiplex PCR test must be ordered with this test.

Specimen Required

a) Throat/nasopharyngeal swabs (preferred sample for adults): Use only Dacron-tipped or flocked swab. Send dry in sterile container or swab sheath.

b) Nasopharyngeal aspirate/wash, endotracheal aspirate, bronchoalveolar lavage: Send at least 1 mL of sample in sterile leak-proof screw-capped container without any media.

Paste red bioharzard alert stickers on clinical sample bags for SGH inpatients.

Storage and Transport

Refrigerate sample until transfer to laboratory. Do not freeze. Send sample at 2 - 8°C (with an ice-pack). Sample must reach laboratory within 24 hours after collection.

Please contact Molecular Laboratory (63266920) before sending sample.


​Reverse-transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (In-house Real-time)

Test Results

​Detected, Not Detected or Inconclusive

Reference Interval / Value

Turnaround Time

Urgent SGH cases only: 6 hours (requires approval of microbiologist)
Routine cases: 1 working day

Patient samples for urgent/stat testing must be from patients who meet MOH criteria of a suspect case.
These must be ordered by an infectious diseases physician and discussed with a Molecular Laboratory microbiologist.

Day(s) Test Set up



​In addition to universal precautions, strict barrier precautions and respiratory protection are required in the collection of respiratory samples from patients suspected to be infected with avian influenza. This includes the use of personal protective equipment like gloves, gowns and apron, safety eyewear and powered air purifying respirators (PAPR) or N95 masks.

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