Japanese B Encephalitis

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Japanese B Encephalitis serology

Blood or serum

5.0ml Blood or 1.0 ml serum

Clotted blood - vacutainer tubes (SST) for serum 

Japanese B Encephalitis PCR

EDTA blood or plasma

400 µl

EDTA/Lavendar top tube

Japanese B Encephalitis PCR


400 µl

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Molecular testing must be approved by PHO laboratory. Contact Public Health Ontario laboratory to specimen collection.


Complete the following on the General Test Requisition Form:

  • relevant travel history
  • onset date 
  • symptoms
  • vaccination history with either Japanese encephalitis virus or yellow fever virus vaccine

Instructions for using SST tubes are found in the document titled: LAB-SD-008, Blood Collection using Serum Separator Tubes.


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

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8◦C following collection and shipped to the PHO laboratory 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 and molecular testing is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML).

TAT is up to 28 days from receipt by PHO laboratory


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

Specimens that are positive for Japanese B virus are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Test Methods

This test is a Referred Out Test. Samples are sent to the Public Health Agency of Canada - National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) in Winnipeg. 

Serology is performed using an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) assay. Molecular testing by RT-PCR is performed after approval by the PHOL microbiologist. All Japanese encephalitis virus testing is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Mis à jour le 20 juill. 2020