Eastern Equine Encephalitis – Serology

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Blood or Serum2

5.0 ml blood or 1.0 ml serum

Clotted blood - vacutainer tubes (SST) for serum4

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Plasma (or serum) in EDTA3

1.0 ml plasma or serum

Plasma with non-heparin anticoagulant (or serum), CSF

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

CSF (must be preapproved by PHOL microbiologist)3

400 µl

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Include all symptoms, onset date, and relevant travel history on the requisition.


Test performed will be serology (see test methods for details).


Molecular testing will be performed on these samples and must be approved by a PHO microbiologist; healthcare provider must contact PHO Laboratory prior to submitting sample.


Centrifuge prior to submission if using SST.


Haemolysed, icteric, lipemic or microbially contaminated sera or plasma are not recommended for testing.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Label the specimen container with the patient’s full name, date of collection and one other unique identifier such as the patient’s date of birth or Health Card Number. Failure to provide this information may result in rejection or testing delay.

Special Instructions

Specimens should be stored at 2-8ºC following collection and shipped to the PHOL on ice packs. Specimens for molecular testing should be frozen and shipped on dry ice.

Requisitions and Kit Ordering

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Serology testing is performed Monday to Friday. Turnaround time is up to 8 days from receipt at PHO Laboratory.

Molecular testing is referred to the National Microbiology Laboratory. Turnaround time is up to 28 days from date of receipt at PHO Laboratory.


Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Positive results from patients with encephalitis are also reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

The Eastern Equine Encephalitis serology testing is performed using a Hemagglutination Inhibition Assay for the detection of antibodies to Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.

Specimens for molecular testing by RT-PCR are forwarded to the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Additional Information

All molecular testing must be preapproved by the PHOL microbiologist. Contact PHOL Customer Service at 416-235-6556 or 1877-604-4567 to request approval.

Mis à jour le 20 juill. 2020