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Submission Information

ADDL Address

Specimens should be sent to the following address:

Ohio Department of Agriculture
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Building 6
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-3399

We receive U.S. Mail Monday through Saturday, and FedEx and UPS deliveries Monday through Friday.

We also receive walk-ins between 8:00 AM -5:00 PM on regular business days (Monday-Friday); however, samples received after 5:00 PM may not be accessioned until the following business day.

Specimen Submission Guidelines

Avian Diagnostics

Avian serology testing requires appropriate amounts of uncontaminated, non-hemolyzed sera. Provide ≥0.5 mL of serum per assay requested. Submit serum samples only. Avoid submitting whole blood. To preserve diagnostic quality of samples, sera should be poured off into separate tubes for submission. Sera may be stored at 2-8°C for ≤7 days prior to shipment.

Fill out the Poultry Sample Submission Form, including all requested information. If possible, the samples should be sent refrigerated, using an overnight courier service. Contact the laboratory to make special test arrangements for export or sale samples or when holidays interrupt the normal test schedule.

Bacteriology

  • Collect all samples aseptically. Label all specimens and submission forms clearly, including animal ID and tissue (site) collected. Submit only 5-10 g of tissue that includes the lesion to be cultured.
  • Keep intestines separate from other organs. Tie-off ends of intestines to be cultured for anaerobic isolates to help ensure anaerobiosis.
  • Use a leak proof container for transport. A screw-cap container is best. Whirl-pak bags are unsuitable for liquid specimens. Disposable OB sleeves are NEVER to be used as transport containers.Submit swabs in appropriate transport media, with the media ampule crushed.
  • Many organisms are fragile and fastidious. Ship specimens refrigerated via overnight or 2 day carrier.
  • Provide as much clinical information as possible. Include any antimicrobial drugs given and time of treatment before samples were collected. Indicate on submission form if antimicrobial susceptibility testing is desired. Provide differential diagnosis of pathogens suspected.
  • Contact the laboratory prior to submitting more than ten samples in one accession.

Molecular Diagnostics & Sequencing

  1. Collect specimens aseptically during the early stages of disease (ie, first onset of clinical disease, but may be up to 7 days after the onset of illness).
  2. In cases involving flock or herd problems, collect specimens from multiple animals at various stages of the disease.
  3. Choose appropriate specimens for pathogen detection. Refer to the Tests and Fees Search for appropriate specimens requested for a specific test.
    1. As a general rule, >1-2 mL whole blood and >1-2 mL serum should be collected from animals with suspected viral diseases, regardless of clinical manifestation.
    2. Viral transport media should be used for collection and transport of swabs (preferably Dacron or compatible swabs).
    3. Provide >1 g of feces for enteric virus diagnostics.
  4. Specimens should be refrigerated at 35.6-46.4°F (2-8°C) immediately after collection.
  5. Fill out the Sample Submission Form, including all requested information. Samples should be immediately shipped to the lab under refrigerated conditions. If samples cannot be immediately shipped to the lab, they can remain refrigerated for ≤3 days or frozen at -13 to 5°F (-25 to -15°C) for short term and at ≤-94°F (≤-70°C) for long term storage. NEVER freeze whole blood samples.

Pathology

Carcass or Live Animal

When submitting an intact carcass or a live animal, the Pathology Section should be notified by the referring veterinarian or his/her office prior to submission of the animal. Please call us at 614-728-6220 to talk with a pathologist.

Fixed tissue samples

If histopathology is requested, place tissues in 10% neutral buffered formalin prior to shipping. Formalin volume should be 10-15 times greater than the tissue volume. Tissues should not exceed 1 cm in thickness. Formalin-fixed samples should be submitted in labeled, wide-mouth, leak-proof screw top containers. Containers should be sealed tightly with electrical tape and placed within a leak-proof plastic bag with absorbent material.

Biopsies

For biopsy samples, the history should include a complete signalment (species, age, sex and breed), the size, location, and rate of growth of the lesion, and any treatment. When submitting samples from multiple neoplasms present on the same animal, samples should be clearly marked or submitted in separate containers. Plastic tissue cassettes and foam sponges are available for the submission of very small biopsy specimens for histopathologic examination. Use of the cassettes and sponges reduces the possibility of losing small specimens during processing. The number of tissues enclosed in the cassette should be noted on the submission form.

Serology

Whole blood should NOT be sent for samples requiring serological testing.

Serological tests require 1-2 mL of serum only. This can be obtained in two ways:

  1. Collect blood in a sterile red top tube. Allow the sample to clot at room temperature for at least one-half hour, rim the tube to release the clot, then spin down in a centrifuge and transfer the separated serum to a sterile tube. If a centrifuge is not available, the clot should be removed and the remaining serum submitted; or 
  2. Collect blood utilizing a sterile serum separator tube (SST/tiger top). The serum separator tube should be centrifuged before shipping.

All serum samples should be kept at ambient conditions for short periods or cooled/refrigerated for extended periods to maintain diagnostic quality. Serum samples may also be frozen for extended periods and submitted for testing. Do NOT expose serum samples to heat for any period of time. Call the laboratory for any additional questions about a sample’s integrity for testing.

Toxicology

Contact the Pathology Section for guidance - 614-728-6220.

Virology

  1. Collect specimens aseptically during the early stages of disease (ie, first onset of clinical disease, but may be up to 7 days after the onset of illness).
  2. In cases involving flock or herd problems, collect specimens from multiple animals at various stages of the disease.
  3. Choose appropriate specimens for pathogen detection. Refer to the Tests and Fees Search for appropriate specimens requested for a specific test.
    1. As a general rule, >1-2 mL whole blood and >1-2 mL serum should be collected from animals with suspected viral diseases, regardless of clinical manifestation.
    2. Viral transport media should be used for collection and transport of swabs (preferably Dacron or compatible swabs).
    3. Provide >1 g of feces for enteric virus diagnostics.
  4. Specimens should be refrigerated at 35.6-46.4°F (2-8°C) immediately after collection.
  5. Fill out the Sample Submission Form, including all requested information. Samples should be immediately shipped to the lab under refrigerated conditions. If samples cannot be immediately shipped to the lab, they can remain refrigerated for ≤3 days or frozen at -13 to 5°F (-25 to -15°C) for short term and at ≤-94°F (≤-70°C) for long term storage. NEVER freeze whole blood samples.

Shipping Guidelines

In addition to the above Specimen Submission Guidelines, please consider the following Shipping Guidelines to ensure samples arrive at the ADDL in appropriate diagnostic condition. Many couriers refuse to handle packages that are leaking or show signs of internal breakage. 

Follow Applicable Federal Regulations

The shipping of biological substances requires familiarity with current rules and regulations. Shippers are responsible for proper packaging, marking and labeling, documentation, classification, and identification of each shipment. Failure to follow regulations for certain substances can result in substantial financial penalties. 

For the purposes of shipping, animal specimens can be divided into three groups:

Category A

Materials known to contain certain etiologic agents (an infectious substance transported in a form which, when exposure occurs, can cause permanent disability or a life-threatening or fatal disease to humans or animals). The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations guidelines can be found here

Category B

Excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue, tissue fluids, etc., which the shipper reasonably believes may contain certain etiologic agents, and that is being shipped for purposes of diagnosis or investigation. The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations guidelines can be found here.

Exempt Animal Specimen

Excreta, secreta, blood and its components, tissue, tissue fluids, etc., transported for routine testing not related to the diagnosis of an infectious disease (not regulated under The Code of Federal Regulations Title 49 as a hazardous material).

Specimen Containment and Labeling

Every shipment should contain the appropriate submission form, and every sample labeled with the corresponding Sample/Tube Number and Animal/Specimen ID.

When shipping specimens every precaution should be taken to prevent any leakage or internal breakage. This could lead to sample cross-contamination, samples which are not salvageable, or exposure of laboratory and non-laboratory personnel to potentially dangerous biological substances. To ensure proper specimen containment:

  • Ship specimens in appropriate leak-proof containers. Any screw-cap containers must be reinforced with tape and/or double-enclosed. 
  • Isolate samples from one another to avoid unnecessary cross-contamination. Add absorbent material to prevent leaking if breakage does occur.
  • Double-bag any tissue samples contained in plastic bags or whirl-pak bags.
  • Add ample padding material to prevent movement within the shipping container. This will also cut down on the amount of coolant needed to keep the internal space of the package at an acceptable temperature.

This is blood leaking out of a poorly shipped styrofoam box. The contents was a head from an animal with suspected rabies infection.

Specimen containers are not isolated, increasing risk of cross-contamination. No absorbent material was included in the shipment.

Use Appropriate Packaging

To maintain consistency in temperature, insulated foam containers work well for samples that need to remain frozen or at refrigerated conditions (2-8˚C). The thicker the foam, the less coolant is needed. Pack any foam coolers or planks within a sturdy corrugated (cardboard) box to avoid damage.

Use the Appropriate Coolant

If samples require refrigerated conditions but should not be frozen (See Specimen Submission Guidelines above), it is recommended that an overnight courier service be used so that samples are not in transit for more than 48 hours. If the samples require refrigerated conditions and are expected to arrive at the ADDL within 24 hours, use ice packs or frozen gel packs to keep samples cool during shipment. Never use cubed or crushed ice, even if it is enclosed in a plastic bag.

If samples that can or should be frozen are to be in transit longer than 48 hours, package with dry ice. Note that dry ice is considered a dangerous good; packages with dry ice must meet Category A Biological Substance shipping requirements, and not all carriers will accept packages containing dry ice.

Always secure gel packs and similar coolant with tape when shipping glass or other breakable specimen containers and include ample padding material such as packing peanuts and bubble wrap to prevent movement within the cooler.

The temperature of all samples will be taken upon arrival at the lab. If the temperature of the samples upon receipt is outside of the ADDL’s established Quality Control Guidelines, the temperature will be noted on the enclosed submission form and will be included as a quality control notice on the client report.

Note that this does not necessarily indicate that diagnostic testing will be inconclusive/ineffective, other factors will be considered (such as collection date, sample type, how long the sample was in transit, tests requested, etc.) by the appropriate scientists and Section Heads, and laboratory staff will reach out if it is determined that testing cannot or should not be done.

After-Hours Submissions

Contact the Section Head of the service you need to make arrangements.

Subcontract Testing

From time to time, samples submitted may require testing at a non-ADDL (referral) laboratory. Every effort will be made to arrange testing at an AAVLD or ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. If non-accredited labs are the only provider of a test, ADDL will document the quality of the assay being requested. The ADDL will charge a nominal shipping fee, if applicable, as well as charge the rate of the referral laboratory for the required testing service.

Subcontracting Services

Billing Policies

Test Charge Policies

The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory assesses a minimal fee for diagnostic and other non-regulatory tests. Test fees charged to Ohio clients are minimal as they represent only the cost of expendable laboratory materials. The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory currently does not charge fees to licensed accredited veterinarians requesting regulatory or program associated tests including but not limited to Brucella, Pseudorabies, and National Poultry Improvement Plan requirements.

Out-of-State Test Fees

The laboratory provides testing services for clients not residing in Ohio at one and a half times the rates given in the Fee Schedule. In addition to these fees, a $10.00 accession fee will be added to each group of samples submitted from non-Ohio clients.

Accounts and Payments

Account numbers are assigned to all veterinarians who submit samples. Please refer to your assigned account number in all correspondence in relation to billing questions. To ensure proper handling of account records, please notify the ADDL immediately if there are any changes in address, phone number or associates.

Payment for all charges is the responsibility of the submitting veterinarian. Charges are billed monthly and are due upon receipt. Checks should be made out to the Ohio Department of Agriculture /ADDL. Include the account number on the reference line of the check to ensure that the correct account is credited.