Yellow Fever Virus

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

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

Yellow Fever Virus serology

Whole blood or serum

5.0 ml blood or 1.0 ml serum

Clotted blood – vacutainer tubes (SST) 

Yellow Fever Virus PCR


1.0 ml

Plasma with non-heparin anticoagulant (or serum)

Yellow Fever Virus PCR


400 µl

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes


Molecular testing must must be preapproved by the PHO laboratory microbiologist. Contact PHO laboratory Customer Service at 416-235-6556 or 1877-604-4567 to request approval.


Complete the following on the General Test Requisition Form:

  • onset date 
  • symptoms
  • relevant travel history
  • history of Japanese encephalitis virus vaccination or yellow fever vaccination

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.

Turnaround time is up to 28 days.


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

Specimens that are positive for yellow fever 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 yellow fever virus testing is performed at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

Mis à jour le 20 juill. 2020