Specimen Collection, Transport and Preservation for Testing
About Influenza (Flu)
Influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and in extreme cases can lead to death. As of November 2022, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that influenza hospitalizations are on the rise and expect a higher than usual infection rate for the 2022-2023 Flu season. As a result, the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) are urging healthcare providers to be alert for and test patients who have illnesses consistent with influenza.
Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Guidance for Influenza Sample Collection and Transport
The CDC indicates that Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and other molecular assays can identify the presence of influenza viral RNA or nucleic acids in respiratory specimens with very high sensitivity and specificity.
Proper specimen collection is the most important step in the laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseases. A specimen that is not collected correctly may lead to false or inconclusive test results. The CDC advises that clinicians should consult the manufacturer’s package insert for the approved clinical specimens for each test. This page is intended to indicate COPAN FDA-cleared products and methods commonly used for the collection and transport of influenza samples consistent with CDC guidelines.*
* Refer to the CDC’s “Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV)” for the most current guidance for sample collection indications and devices for influenza.Visit the CDC.gov Site
Transport Medium® Collection Kits
COPAN’s collection & transport kits for viral specimens combine state-of-the-art FLOQSwab® flocked sample collection swabs with the exceptional sample preservation of UTM Universal Transport Medium®.
UTM Universal Transport Medium® is FDA cleared for collection, transport, preservation, and long-term freeze storage of clinical specimens containing viruses for viral molecular diagnostic testing
UTM® Regular Tip Swab Collection Kits
Commonly Used for Nasal, Oropharyngeal and Lesion Swab Collection
UTM® Mini Tip Swab Collection Kits
Commonly Used for Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection
UTM® Bulk Products
Regular Tip Flocked Swabs
Swabs for Larger Sites - Commonly Used for Nasal, Oropharyngeal and Lesion Swab Collection
Mini-Tip Flocked Swabs
Swabs for Small Sites - Commonly Used for Nasopharyngeal Swab Collection
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The material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always refer to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, professional healthcare organizations, or other qualified healthcare providers for current guidance.
Always read the manufacturer’s package insert for specific instructions regarding specimen collection and transport for the type of test kit being used.
Sample Collection Topics
About COPAN Diagnostics
COPAN Diagnostics is part of COPAN Group, the leading manufacturer of sample collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN is committed to continuously bringing value to the pre-analytical phase of Microbiology by providing innovative solutions inspired by the clinical microbiology community.Learn More