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Astrovirus RT-qPCR

Enteric, Environmental and Food Virology Laboratory


Health Science

Lab name

Enteric, Environmental and Food Virology Laboratory

Lab location

Kenepuru Science Centre, Porirua

Test name

Astrovirus RT-qPCR



Requested for surveillance


Notice required


Sample requirements

Faecal specimen from gastroenteritis outbreak or food/waterborne illness investigation. Vomit may be used but is not the preferred sample. Minimum 0.25 g or 0.25 mL.

Pre-transport requirements

Store at 5 ± 3°C for up to 3 weeks, otherwise at -20°C or -70°C. EpiSurv outbreak number. Specimens with no Episurv number provided may be stored until received.

Transport requirements

Standard biohazard packaging. Ship specimen at ambient temperature, same day or overnight.

Unacceptable sample types

Specimens received without a form, with insufficient material to analyse, or in poorly labelled or leaking containers will not be tested. Insufficient specimen (< 0.25 g or < 0.25 mL) may be rejected.

How results reported

Report will state result as either positive or negative for presence of astrovirus. For norovirus-negative outbreaks, two specimens per gastroenteritis outbreak are usually tested for astrovirus (and sapovirus).

Referral link