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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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VS Outbreak Surveillance Toolbox - Laboratory Information

Specimen Collection Guidelines from NVSL

Suggested Sample Routing

Type of diagnostic specimen NVSL FADDL


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) suspects YES - PL No
Heartwater suspects YES - DVL YES
All other ruminant specimens No YES
Avian YES - DVL No
Entomologic specimens, all species YES - PL No
Equine (including African horse sickness suspects) YES - DVL No
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) No YES
Swine vesicular disease (SVD) suspects No YES
Classical swine fever (CSF) suspects No YES
African swine fever (ASF) suspects No YES
All other swine diagnostic samples YES - DVL No

DVL = Diagnostic Virology Laboratory
PL = Pathobiology Laboratory

If more than one laboratory at NVSL will perform diagnostic testing (e.g., virology, bacteriology, pathobiology), then separate sets of diagnostic samples need to be labeled for each NVSL laboratory department.

CSF or ASF Suspects

  • NVSL strongly recommends that if CSF or ASF is suspected, then non-FAD conditions be included in the differential diagnosis; NVSL recommends that one set of diagnostic samples be sent to FADDL and a second set of diagnostic samples be sent to NVSL.
  • The diagnostic samples submitted to NVSL must be clearly marked “Hold until cleared for exotic disease by FADDL.”
  • Notify FADDL and NVSL when two sets of samples are being shipped or transported for the same investigation.
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