Changes to viral gastroenteritis testing

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From December 11th (postponed from December 4th) onwards the NVRL will routinely screen all specimens received for viral gastroenteritis testing for the presence of the Rotarix rotavirus vaccine strain. This service will enable improved clinical interpretation of Rotavirus positive results. Rotarix may be excreted following vaccination and is detectable by the majority of Rotavirus tests. Two RT-PCR rotavirus results will now be available following testing at the NVRL; Rotavirus, specific for both wild-type and the vaccine strain and Rotarix, specific for the vaccine strain only. 

In addition, we can now recommend the use of Copan FecalSwabs for faeces sample collection. Fecal swabs can facilitate both easier patient sample collection and laboratory processing, and may be obtained through the NVRL website. However, please note that for the investigation of acute flaccid paralysis, Guillian-Barré syndrome or transverse myelitis, faecal samples MUST be collected to out-rule poliovirus infection and to facilitate the identification of the causative agent.