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Test Code SMRSAN MRSA PCR Surveillance, Nasal LAB2202

Important Note

Potentially interfering substances include blood and/or mucus.

Mutations or polymorphisms in primer and probe binding regions may affect detection of new or unknown MRSA variants resulting in a false negative result.

Refer to also MRSA Culture Nasal for non-PCR analysis.


Test Method

Polymerization Chain Reaction (PCR)


Testing performed Monday through Sunday

Typically completed within 2 hours after the specimen
arrives at the testing site.

Useful For

Detection of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in
nasal specimen

Specimen Requirement

Nasal specimen collected with Cepheid collection device is

CPT Code Information

87641 Detection of Infectious Agent by Probe Technique:
Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, amplified probe

Reference Values


  • Important Called Result:

LOINC Code Information

35492-8 Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) DNA
[Presence] By Probe And Target Amplification Method

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Obtain a Cepheid sample collection device (Copan double
transport swab).

  1. If possible, have the patient blow their nose prior to sample
  2. Open the Cepheid collection device by peeling back the outer
  3. Do not separate swabs; use both swabs.
  4. Ask the patient to tilt his/her head back.
  5. Insert both dry swabs approximately 1-2 cm into one of the
  6. Rotate the swabs against the inside of the nostril for 3
  7. Apply slight pressure with a finger on the outside of the nose
    to help assure good contact between the swab and the inside of the
  8. Using the same swabs, repeat for the second nostril, trying not
    to touch anything but the inside of the nose.
  9. If the patient has a nasogastric tube, do not swab the nostril
    containing the tube; swab only the open nostril.
  10. If lubricant has recently been placed in the nostril, make sure
    the patient blows their nose before collection.
  11. If there has been recent surgery of the nose, use the nostril
    that was not operated upon.
  12. If both nostrils have had recent surgery, contact the
    laboratory before collecting a specimen.
  13. Twist off the cap of the plastic transfer tube and discard
  14. Place the swabs into the plastic transport tube.
  15. The swabs should be all the way into the tube until they rest
    on top of the sponge at the bottom of the tube.
  16. Make sure the red cap is on tightly.
  17. The swabs should stay attached to the red cap at all
  18. Label the plastic transport tube with the patient name, patient
    identification number, date & time of collection and the
    initials of the nurse who collected the specimen.
  19. Swab specimens can be stored at room temperature for up to 24
  20. The swab specimen is stable up to 5 days when stored