What is the role of viral cultures in the diagnosis of measles?

Updated: Jun 06, 2019
  • Author: Selina SP Chen, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Viral culture

  • Throat swabs and nasal swabs can be sent on viral transport medium or a viral culturette swab

  • Urine specimens can be sent in a sterile container

  • Viral genotyping in a reference laboratory may determine whether an isolate is endemic or imported

  • In immunocompromised patients, isolation of the virus or identification of measles antigen by immunofluorescence may be the only feasible method of confirming the diagnosis

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