Sequencing HA and NA (Sanger or NGS)

Last updated on 7-2-2024 by Amber Van Laer

Description of the test

Sequencing of influenza A and B (hemaglutinine & neuraminidase).

Purpose of the test

Genotypical characterisation of the hemaglutinine (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) gene of influenza A and B viruses by sequencing. 

The objective is to detect mutations that are associated to differences in pathogenicity and resistance to antivirals. 

Criteria for conducting this test under the reference activities 

Confirmation of a positive or undetermined result for influenza.

First line diagnosis in case of:

  • Severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) with ARDSECMO or death​
  • Influenza syndrome after influenza vaccination (possible case of “vaccine failure”)
  • Suspicion of antiviral resistance
  • Influenza syndrome upon return from abroad
  • Surveillance 

Instructions for samples

Sample types : 

  • nasopharyngeal swab
  • bronchial aspirate
  • broncho-alveolar lavage liquid.

Use a sterile tube with VTM (virus transport medium).

Minimal quantity: 500 µl.


Samples should be stored refrigerated (2-8°C, if <24h) before shipment. 

In case of shipment > 24h, store at -20°C or -70°C.

Instructions for transport​

Samples stored at 2-8°C can be transported at room temperature.

Samples stored at -20°C or -70°C should be transported on dry ice.

Transport time should be as short as possible (avoid transport during weekends and official holidays). ​

Transport samples using an hermetically closed recipient, triple packaging.

Inacceptable requests

The test analysis will not be performed in case of:

  • Insufficient or inappropriate sample
  • Inappropriate storage or transport
  • Uncompleted request form
  • Request not compliant with the criteria ​

Samples are stored during a maximum period of 1 year for other testing (re-test), if sufficient sample is available.

Reporting of test results

A report is sent by LIMS using e-mail, fax or regular post.

Pathogen info

Influenza virus


Is the analysis accredited?

Materials and methods

Method reference: 

Turnaround time and time slots

Turnaround time: 
30 days

Service in charge of the analysis

Contact email

Analysis categories


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