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Specimen Submission and Reagent Ordering


Instructions for Sending Diagnostic Specimens to the DVBID Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory

1. CDC Submission Form

Complete a CDC submission form (CDC 50.34), by downloading About PDF CDC Data and Specimen Handling (DASH) section form 50.34 for submission of laboratory specimens (84 KB), or call DVBID for a copy at 970-221-6400.

NOTE: Testing will not be initiated without the inclusion of:

  1. date of onset of symptoms
  2. date of specimen collection
    NOTE: If the specimen collection occurs within 8 days after the onset of symptoms, a convalescent specimen will be requested.
  3. any pertinent travel history (3 months prior to the date of symptom
  4. the patient's name (REQUIRED for submitting specimens)

2. Shipping

For information regarding shipping packages and applicable regulations, please refer to CDC's Scientific Resources Program for specific information:

3. Specimen types and amounts

  1. Acute and convalescent specimens, if available, should be sent together.
  2. Ideal timing of specimens for serology:
Acute 3 to 10 days after onset of symptoms
Convalescent 2-3 weeks after acute sample
  1. At least 0.5 mL of serum and/or 1.0 mL of CSF is required for serology testing. CSF specimens are routinely tested undiluted and therefore require larger amounts. Whole blood will not be accepted for serology testing.
  2. For serology testing, the specimen should be kept cold or frozen. The sample may be placed in an insulated container with blue ice packs. Additional blue ice packs should be used in the summer to ensure specimen integrity in hot weather.
  3. For virus isolation and/or nucleic acid amplification testing, acceptable specimens are fresh frozen tissue, serum, or cerebrospinal fluid. Tissue specimens should be approximately 1 cm³, frozen as soon as possible at -70ºC, and shipped on enough dry ice so that specimens remain frozen until received. Formalin-fixed specimens are not tested at DVBID and can be submitted to the Special Pathogens Laboratory in Atlanta, GA for immunohistochemistry:

    Infectious Disease Pathology Activity
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MS-G32)
    1600 Clifton Rd, NE
    Atlanta, GA 30333

4. Testing Results

Test results are normally available 4 to 14 days after specimen receipt. Reporting times for test results may be longer during summer months when arbovirus activity increases. Receipt of a hard copy of the results will take at least 2 weeks after testing is completed. Initial serological testing will be performed using IgM capture ELISA and IgG ELISA. If the initial results are positive, further confirmatory testing may delay the reporting of final results. ALL RESULTS WILL BE SENT TO THE APPROPRIATE STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Notify your state health department of any submissions to CDC.

5. Shipping Address

Send all specimens to:

ATTENTION: Arbovirus Diagnostic Laboratory, DRA


3150 Rampart Road

Fort Collins, C0 80521

6. Further assistance

Additional assistance may be obtained from the DVBID Arbovirus Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory at 970-221-6445.

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This page last reviewed April 20, 2007

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National Center for Infectious Diseases |
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Fort Collins, Colorado 80522

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