Lesion swab, vesicle fluid, conjunctival swab, nasopharyngeal aspirate, throat swab, CSF, tissue biopsy, faeces, urine, blood leucocytes (5 mL blood in EDTA or heparin).
Specimens should be collected as soon as possible after the onset of illness. NAA is now widely used, and is the method of choice for direct detection of most viral infections.
Fluid and aspirates are better than dry swabs whenever practicable.
Aspirates and swabs should be placed in viral transport medium if culture is required (rarely).
Culture specimens require rapid transport to the laboratory.
Consult laboratory for local requirements.