Mumps Laboratory Specimen Submissions

Indiana Epidemiology Newsletter
March 2007

Karee Buffin, M.S.
Vaccine Preventable Disease Epidemiologist

There have been no reported laboratory-confirmed mumps cases in Indiana for 2007. The ISDH receives very few reports that meet the clinical case definition:

“an illness with acute onset of unilateral or bilateral tender, self-limited swelling of the parotid or other salivary gland, lasting for two or more days, and without other apparent cause.”

We receive many specimens that cannot be tested. Health care providers submitting buccal swab specimens for mumps PCR testing to the ISDH Laboratories should be aware of several common problems with collection and transport that may render specimens unsatisfactory for testing:

  • Buccal swabs must be placed in viral transport medium following collection.
  • Buccal swabs should be collected within 9 days of symptoms onset.
  • Buccal swabs arriving to the Laboratories warm cannot be tested.

Remember to send or ship specimens as soon as possible. Avoid shipping over weekends or on holidays. In these instances, maintain specimen(s) under refrigeration until the following Monday, then ship with cold packs.

Following these procedures will decrease time and effort required for testing.

Click here for a complete guide for mumps laboratory specimen collection including serologic testing.