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Test Code MEPCR Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) Panel PCR

Important Note

Precautions: False positive Streptococcus pneumoniae results have been reported, likely due to contamination during sample handling. Due to the extremely high sensitivity of this diagnostic test, the following precautions should be followed:

  • all individuals handling the specimens (when open) should be masked and gloved.
  • LPs should be performed in an enclosed room rather than an open bay or populated patient area.
  • all personnel in the room where the LP is being performed need to be masked.
  • specimen tubes should be closed as soon as possible during collection.

Additional Codes


Powerchart: Meningitis Panel

MA Cerner: Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) Panel PCR

Specimen Requirement

Collect in CSF container. A minimum volume of 1 mL CSF required in addition to volume required for other tests run on the same specimen. Transport to the laboratory immediately.

Additional Specimen Collection Information

Collection Instructions:

  • Minimum volume: 0.2 mL
  • Hemolysis: NA
  • Lipemia: NA
  • Icterus: NA
  • Storage: Specimens should be tested as soon as possible, though they may be stored for up to one day at room temperature (18-30ºC), or refrigerated (2-8ºC) for up to seven days.

Reference Value

Not Detected

Useful For

The FilmArray meningitis/encephalitis panel is a multiplex PCR test capable of qualitatively detecting DNA or RNA of 14 pathogens (bacteria and viruses) from human cerebrospinal fluid.

The panel is used to diagnose infection caused by Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, Listeria monocytogenes, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Enterovirus (including Coxsackie virus A/B, Echovirus, and Enterovirus, including EV-D68, EV-D70, and EV-D71), Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2), Human parechovirus, Varicella zoster virus, and Cryptococcus neoformans/gattii.


Use is discouraged in these situations:

  • Suspected neurosurgical infection-this assay will not detect the most common pathogens.
  • In patients with presumed Lyme neuroborreliosis.
  • In patients whose clinical scenario suggests an alternative infectious diagnosis-this may be used in combination with other assays.
  • Do not use alone when suspicion for bacterial infection is high-cultures need to be performed for susceptibility testing.
  • Do not use CSF obtained from ports, shunts, or any LP completed for reasons other than to R/O meningitis/encephalitis.


Testing is performed Monday through Sunday.

Typically completed within 3 hours after the specimen arrives at the testing site.

CPT Code Information


Test Method

Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); FilmArray ME Panel


In Process