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Laboratory Services

Lab Dept:


Test Name:


General Information

Lab Order Codes:



Culture, Chlamydia pneumoniae (TWAR); Culture, TWAR (Chlamydia pneumoniae); PCR, Chlamydia pneumoniae (TWAR)

CPT Codes:

87486 - Infectious agent detection by nucleic acid (DNA or RNA); Chlamydia pneumoniae, amplified probe technique

Test Includes:

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Culture for Chlamydia pneumoniae has been replaced by DNA PCR.


Lab Testing Sections:

Microbiology - Sendouts

Referred to:

LabCorp/Viromed (LC Test# 138263)

Phone Numbers:

MIN Lab: 612-813-5866

STP Lab: 651-220-6555

Test Availability:

Daily, 24 hours, Set up on Monday and Thursday

Turnaround Time:

3 – 5 days

Special Instructions:

Requisition must state specific site of specimen and date/time of collection.


Specimen Type:

Swab: Throat or nasopharyngeal swab in M4 VTM transport media

Nasal wash or aspirate: Place in sterile container.

Bronchial washings or bronchoalveolar lavage (1 mL) in a sterile container


Container dependent upon specimen collected: M4 VTM transport media (available in Microbiology) or sterile container


Bronchoscopy specimens: 1 mL

Nasopharyngeal swabs: 2 minitip swabs; one each from the right and left nares

Throat swab: 1 swab



1. Specimen obtained by physician through the biopsy channel of the bronchoscope.

2. Transfer specimen into a luki tube.

Nasopharyngeal Swabs:

1. Carefully insert a minitip swab into the posterior nasopharynx via the nose, collecting one each from right and left nares.

2. Rotate the swab slowly for 5 s to absorb secretions, keeping the swab near the floor and the septum of the nose.

3. Remove the swabs and place into M4 VTM transport media by cutting the shaft of the swab.

Throat Swabs:

1. Depress tongue with a tongue depressor.

2. Sample the posterior pharynx, tonsils, and inflamed areas with a sterile swab.

3. Place swab in M4 VTM transport media. Extract the swab by swirling and pressing the swab against the inside of the vial, then discard the swab.

Nasopharyngeal Washings:

1. Tilt patient’s head back at a 70 angle.

2. Insert rubber bulb syringe containing 1 – 2 mL of sterile saline until it occludes the nostril.

3. Collect specimen (Minimum: 1 mL) with one complete squeeze and release bulb.

4. Repeat in other nostril.

5. Place washings in container and forward promptly.

Nasal Aspiration:

1. Prepare suction set up on low to medium suction.

2. Wash hands and put on protective barriers (e.g., gloves, gown, mask).

3. Place child supine and obtain assistant to hold child during procedure.

4. Attach luki tube to suction tubing and #6 French suction catheter.

5. Insert catheter into nostril and pharynx without applying suction.

6. Apply suction as catheter is withdrawn.
If necessary, suction 0.5 - 1 mL of normal saline through catheter in order to clear the catheter and increase the amount of specimen in the luki tube.

Special Processing:

If specimen is not received in M4 VTM transport media, extract the throat swabs into the transport media by swirling and pressing the swab against the inside of the vial, then discard swab. Allow the NP swabs to remain in the media by cutting the shaft of the swab. This is necessary because of low specimen load.


Transport to the Microbiology Laboratory immediately at room temperature. Store and transport NP, throat or bronchus to LabCorp/ViroMed at refrigerated temperature.

Sample Rejection:

Specimen with a transit time exceeding 2 hours after collection; specimen not submitted in appropriate transport container; improperly labeled specimen; insufficient volume; external contamination. If an unacceptable specimen is received, the physician or nursing station will be notified and another specimen will be requested before the specimen is discarded.


Reference Range:

No Chlamydia pneumoniae detected by DNA PCR


A negative result does not rule out the presence of PCR inhibitors in the patient specimen or C. pneumoniae nucleic acid concentrations below the level of detection of the assay.




LabCorp Web Page or March 2009


3/6/2009: Reference laboratory will no longer accept tissue samples for this testing. Added info for nasopharyngeal washings and nasal aspirations.
8/21/2013: Update to M4 VTM, removal of universal media.

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