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Submission Information
ADDL Lab

Specimen Submission Guidelines

Successful isolation and/or detection of antigens and/or antibodies in clinical materials depends largely on proper collection and handling of specimens.

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

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.
a. 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.
b. Viral transport media should be used for collection and transport of swabs (preferably Dacron or compatible swabs).
c. 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.

Next Generation 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.
a. 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.
b. Viral transport media should be used for collection and transport of swabs (preferably Dacron or compatible swabs).
c. 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.

Fixed tissue samples - If histopathology is requested, tissues need to be fixed prior to shipping in 10% neutralbuffered formalin. (See Appendix for formalin preparation instructions). Adequate fixative volume is
important for proper fixation and 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 wide-mouth, leak-proof screw top
containers. Whirl-pak bags are not acceptable. Containers should be labeled appropriately (client’s name, animal ID). To prevent leakage, the containers should be sealed tightly and placed within a leak-proof plastic
bag prior to shipment in an appropriate box.

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 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

Please submit the appropriate specimen for the desired test. Federal regulations govern the packaging and labeling of diagnostic samples. Many couriers refuse to handle packages that are leaking or show signs of internal breakage.

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.
a. 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.
b. Viral transport media should be used for collection and transport of swabs (preferably Dacron or compatible swabs).
c. 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

Please submit the appropriate specimen for the desired test. Federal regulations govern the packaging and labeling of diagnostic samples. Many couriers refuse to handle packages that are leaking or show signs of internal breakage. 

Instructions: 

  1. Ship specimens in appropriate leak-proof containers.
  2. Screw-cap closures must be reinforced with tape and/or double enclosed.
  3. Label each specimen container with owner's last name, animal name/number and type of specimen.
  4. Double bag specimens shipped in whirl-pak bags.
  5. Add absorbent material to prevent leakage should breakage occur.

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, FedEx and UPS deliveries Monday through Saturday.

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.

After-Hours Submissions

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

Subcontracting Services

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 Services

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.

Pathology Fees

Services provided by the Pathology Section include complete necropsy examinations including histopathologic examinations, special stains/histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, surgical pathology and qualitative fecal centrifugations. Necropsy accessions are performed on a consignment basis as follows:

  • 1-6 poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, game birds)
  • 1-6 aborted fetuses (same dam), any species
  • 1-3 neonates, any species
  • 1-3 weanlings (<50 lbs)
  • 1 adult animal

Consignments of multiple specimens must include animals/birds with similar clinical problems. Referring veterinarians should notify the Pathology Section and if necessary, consult with the pathologist, prior to the submission of a carcass or live animal. Upon submission of necropsy cases, the owner will be billed an initial deposit of $78.00 to cover the necropsy examinations. Ancillary testing beyond the gross examination is at the discretion of the pathologist who will work with the referring veterinarian on a diagnostic plan. There is no charge for necropsies performed on animals/birds submitted as suspects or reactors for which there is a state or federal regulatory program. Cosmetic necropsies will not be performed and no portion of the carcass will be returned to the owner.