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Test Name

Bacterial Meningitis/Sepsis PCR for detection of Neisseria meningitidis, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae

Test Methodology

Real-time PCR

Reflex Testing Criteria

​​All specimens positive for Neisseria meningitidis will be tested for serogroup. All blood and CSF specimens positive for Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae will be tested for serotype.

Pre-Approval Required


Supplemental Information and Required Form(s)

Form PCR-VPP01 (PDF) "Bacterial Sepsis/Meningitis" from the drop-down menu on the MDL General Electronic Submission Form

The MDL General Electronic Submission Form  should be downloaded and opened using a pdf viewer. To download, right-click the link and select "Save link as." If you are unable to open the Form using a pdf viewer, please contact MDL at 510-412-3700 or

Instructions on completing this form

Required Specimen Type(s)

Patient specimen from a normally sterile body site that has not yielded growth on bacterial culture.

Acceptable specimens include EDTA whole blood, blood culture bottle media, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or pleural fluid.

For CSF specimens, please indicate its WBC count, protein, and glucose levels.

Minimum Volume Required

0.5 ml

Specimen Stability

Room Temp:  Not acceptable
Refrigerated (2 -8°C):  up to 21 days
Frozen (≤-20ºC): up to one month

Rejection Criteria

  • Specimens that have been stored at room temperature
  • Specimens from a non-sterile body site
  • Unlabeled or poorly labeled specimen container (see Specimen Labeling instructions)
  • Specimens collected or shipped outside of specimen stability or shipping criteria
  • Inadequate specimen volume

Storage/Transport Conditions

Refrigerated on cold packs or frozen on dry ice.

Transport Medium, if applicable

Not applicable

Specimen Labeling

Two identifiers, including patient full name, and at least one other identifier (specimen accession number, DOB, MRN); date and time of collection as noted for specific tests, if applicable.

Shipping Instructions and Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship refrigerated or frozen using appropriate DOT/IATA approved shipping procedures.

Ensure that specimens are sent in a container with a screw-top cap if not sending the original vacutainer tube or blood culture bottle; seal with parafilm or tape for additional protection against leaking.

Ship to:

California Department of Public Health
Microbial Diseases Laboratory 
ATTN: Bacterial Diseases Section, Vaccine Preventable Pathogens
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Specimen Receiving Room B106
Richmond, CA  94804

Specimen Collection Instructions, if applicable

Not applicable

Turnaround Time

5 days

Interferences & Limitations

Specimen from a non-sterile site or that has a positive culture.

Reference Range

Not Applicable

Additional Information


MDL Point of Contact

For questions regarding submissions, please email or MDL at 510-412-3700.

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