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Designed and validated testing strategies for quality test results

Reference Testing
NRL Testing serves as a reference point for HIV, HCV and HTLV samples whose status cannot be resolved. NRL has designed testing strategies that include selected tests not widely used by other laboratories. These testing strategies have been developed by collecting and testing large numbers of samples, carrying out follow-up studies on indeterminate samples, and assessing the most efficient means of combining tests to give the most satisfactory and accurate diagnoses. 

NRL Testing provides TGA-licensed screening of samples collected from blood and tissue donors.  In the absence of manufacturer data for alternative sample types, NRL has validated serology test kits in its testing strategies for use with serum/plasma collected from cadaver donors.


NRL Testing Services

Type of
Living donors Cadaver donors
 HIV serology
 HCV serology
 HBV serology
 HTLV serology    
 HIV-1 RNA  
 HTLV-I & II DNA    


Specimen Collection and Transport Requirements

Analyte Minimum Specimen Requirements
 HIV-1 p24 antigen*   

 Living or on life support

 1mL serum or plasma. Transport on cold packs to arrive at the NRL as soon as
 possible following collection but within 7 days. Refrigerate during transit.
 * If sample will not arrive within 7 days of collection, freeze and transport on dry ice.

 Contact Specimen Enquiries for further information

 Contact Specimen Enquiries for further information

 Living or on life support

 5 - 10mL whole blood collected into EDTA or CPD should arrive within 72hrs of
 collection. Transport on cold packs;
 1mL EDTA or CPD plasma separated and stored at 2 - 8°C should arrive within 72 hours
 of collection. Transport on cold packs;
 1mL EDTA frozen plasma (≤ - 18°C) should arrive within 1 month of collection.
 For longer storage periods keep at - 70°C. Transport on dry ice.

 5 - 10mL whole blood collected into plain tubes or tubes containing EDTA should arrive
 within 48 hours of collection if stored at ambient temperature (15 - 30°C) or within 72
 hours if stored at 2 - 8°C. Transport on cold packs. 1mL frozen plasma or serum
 (≤ - 18°C) should arrive within 1 month of collection. Transport on dry ice.

Specimens that are sent by airfreight must comply with the following conditions:
a) The sample should be packed and shipped in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation.
b) For the specimens referred from outside Australia, a copy of the NRL import permit and customs declaration
should be attached to the parcel. A copy of the import permit and customs declaration template will be faxed
on request.
c) The parcel should be addressed to:
                                                                           Susan Best
                                                                            4th Floor Healy Building
                                                                            41 Victoria Parade
                                                                            FITZROY VICTORIA 3065

Packages should not arrive on the weekend without prior arrangement.

Specimen Enquiries: +61 3 9418 1111


NRL Testing Brochure

NRL Testing Brochure - (click to download and print)