The Molecular Pathology (PCR) Laboratory, part of the Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s, has the capability and expertise to perform an impressive range of infectious disease testing. The lab uses state-of-the-art equipment, such as the Roche MagNA Pure for nucleic acid extraction, Focus Diagnostics Integrated Cycler, Roche LightCycler 480 and ABI 7500 Real-Time PCR systems to provide testing with rapid turnaround and the capability to perform viral load testing.

The PCR Laboratory performs molecular testing on a variety of sample types over a wide range of diseases and complements the services provided by the laboratories at Cincinnati Children’s.

The following tests are offered through the Molecular Pathology (PCR) Laboratory:

  • Adenovirus, DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • BK virus, DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Bordetella pertussis / parapertussis, DNA, PCR
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV), DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Enterovirus, RNA, RT-PCR
  • Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2, DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), DNA, PCR (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae, DNA, PCR
  • Norovirus, RNA, PCR
  • Parvovirus B19, DNA, PCR
  • Respiratory virus panel, RNA, RT-PCR (includes influenza A / B, parainfluenza 1, 2, 3, RSV, human metapneumovirus, and human rhinovirus)
  • Influenza A / B, RNA, RT-PCR
  • Parainfluenza 1, 2, 3, RNA, RT-PCR
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), RNA, RT-PCR
  • Human metapneumovirus (hMPV), RNA, RT-PCR
  • Human rhinovirus (RHINO), RNA, RT-PCR
  • Toxoplasma gondii, DNA, PCR
  • Varicella-zoster virus (VZV), DNA, PCR

Lab Hours and Turnaround Times

The laboratory is staffed Monday-Friday on first shift from 6 am-3:30 pm and on second shift from 3:15 pm-11 pm.  Specimens must be in the lab by 6 am to be processed / resulted on first shift and by 3 pm to be processed / resulted on second shift.  On Saturday the lab is staffed on first shift only, with a limited testing schedule.  Specimens must be in the lab by 6:30 am to be processed / resulted that day.  This schedule may vary depending on the need to batch samples, or on staffing considerations. 

For urgent requests you may call the lab at 513-636-9820 to confirm that testing will be done.  Any testing outside of this schedule should be coordinated through the laboratory director. 

Collection Requirements

  • When using a swab to collect a sample from any site (nasal / respiratory, lesion, rectal), use a plain, sterile swab with no media.  Either the red or green-topped Stuart’s swabs are acceptable.  Do not submit swabs that are in any kind of gel media.
  • When multiple PCR tests (from the list above) are to be analyzed from whole blood, a single tube of blood (at least 0.5mL) is acceptable.  The laboratory does not need a separate tube of blood for each test being ordered.
  • More information about collection requirements for each test can be found at the Clinical Lab Index.

Download a Form

To ensure quick lab results, you may download the Ancillary Order Form and ICD-9 Codes.


The Molecular Pathology (PCR) Laboratory, part of the Division of Pathology, is on the main campus of Cincinnati Children’s, in Location B, Room 4274.

Contact Us

For more information about the Molecular Pathology (PCR) Laboratory, call 513-636-9820. You may also reach us by fax, 513-803-5407.