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For detection of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

For the other respiratory pathogens (adenovirus, coronaviruses HKU1, NL63, 229E, OC43, human metapneumovirus, human rhinovirus/enterovirus, influenza A, influenza A/H1, influenza A/H3, influenza A/H1-2009, influenza B, parainfluenza viruses 1-4, respiratory syncytial virus, Bordetella parapertussis, Bordetella pertussis, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumonia) covered by this assay, our validation showed that both our current respiratory viruses multiplex PCR (in-house modified Seegene AnyplexTM II RV16) and our current Pneumonia multiplex PCR (Seegene AnyplexTM II RB5), consistently outperform this BioFire® FilmArray® Respiratory 2 plus Panel. 

Specimen Required

  1. ​​Throat / nasopharyngeal swabs : Use only Dacron / rayon-tipped dry swabs with plastic shafts or flocked swabs. Send dry in the swab sheath or in a dry sterile screw-capped container. Laryngeal swabs will be rejected.
  2. Sputum
  3. In addition, the following specimens from invasive procedures can be taken:
      • bronchoalveolar lavage
      • endotracheal tube aspirate

These specimens are to be sent in screw-capped sterile containers without adding viral transport media.

Storage and Transport

​For urgent cases, please contact the laboratory (63266920/65767620). Urgent specimens must be hand-delivered to the Academia Building, Diagnostics Tower. Normal opening hours are from 8.00am to 5.10pm on Monday to Friday and 8.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.

All specimens must be transported to the laboratory promptly within a few hours of collection. If a delay in transport is anticipated, specimens should also be kept cold at 4°C, and thereafter delivered within 24 hours of collection.

  • Tighten collection containers properly to prevent leakage of specimen
  • Laboratory forms and specimens must be completely labelled with patient's name, identification number, date of collection and type of specimen.
  • Specimens should be transported in a secondary non-breakable carrier with a tight lid.

Specimen can be transported at 18-25oC to the testing laboratory if the total storage and transport time at 18-25oC does not exceed one hour. Otherwise, specimen should be stored and transported cooled (2-8oC or with ice pack) and to reach the testing laboratory within 48 hours of collection.


Multiplex Real-time PCR

Test Results

Detected, Not Detected or Inconclusive

Reference Interval / Value

Turnaround Time

​Routine: Next working day

Urgent: 3 hours (require discussion with on-call microbiologist)

Day(s) Test Set up

​Mondays to Saturdays (Routine)


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

Note that urgent out-of-hours testing will only be done on inpatients in SGH. These must be ordered by an infectious diseases physician and discussed with Microbiologist-on-call for SGH Molecular Laboratory. Patient samples for urgent/stat testing must be from patients who meet MOH case definition of a suspect case.

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