Monkeypox PCR

Test Information

Test Name

Monkeypox PCR


Molecular Diagnostics

Preferred Specimen

Viral Swab, see notes

Testing Location

PLBOP; Referral

Collection Information


Monkeypox is a notifiable disease and probable cases need to be discussed with your local PHU (and clinical microbiologist) first.

Processing Information

Registration Code



Please contact the Medical Officer of Health and Clinical Microbiologist prior to collecting samples.

  • 1x Specimen swab with thick shaft in UTM/VTM per site sampled (Always required)


Lesions may need to be de-roofed in order to collect the lesion fluid and the base of the lesion swabbed vigorously with a swab with a thick shaft to apply pressure which ensures adequate cellular material is obtained. Up to 3 lesions may be sampled, preferaly each lesion at a different stage of development

  • Throat and/or rectal swab in UTM/VTM
  • Dedicated 4mL EDTA blood tube for monkeypox PCR (Only recommended if the patient presents early, and with signs of systemic illness such as fever
  • Scab lesions or crust material (send to laboratory in a sterile pottle with no added UTM)
  • Include on request form details of suspected contact, travel history, date of onset

Site Specific Notes

- Waikato

Refer sample to Waikato Hospital Laboratory. Preferred samples are skin and lesion swabs in VTM. Nasopharyngeal swabs are not preferred. Refer to Waikato Hospital laboratory website for further info.

- Tauranga

Process in house

- Whakatane

Process in PLBOP

- Rotorua

Process in PLBOP

- Taupo

Process in PLBOP

External Referral Information

Referral Location

Waikato Hospital Laboratory (For PLW samples only)

External Lab Website