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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Collection of Diagnostic Specimens


The selection and submission of materials collected in the field will vary according to the type and extent of laboratory support desired by the submitter. Contact the NVSL for assistance determining the type of samples to collect.

Collecting Samples for Diagnostic Unknowns


Not all cases of an exotic disease run a typical course or have classical lesions. In addition, insidious disease forms may enter a susceptible population and spread without notice because they do not show the expected clinical picture. Therefore, a comprehensive collection of specimens is the most useful in providing a diagnosis. Click here to view a Table of Specimen Collection, intended to supply the field diagnostician with lists of specimens for various animal species. The specimen listings are minimum recommended lists, designed to include samples necessary for diagnostic confirmation of foreign animal diseases for each of the animal species, as well as the differential diagnosis of domestic diseases that might be confused with a foreign animal disease. The lists are not intended to replace the field diagnostician's judgment concerning the collection of additional specimens.

General Guidelines for Necropsy --PDF, 22KB

Disease-Specific Guide to Sample Collection (Foreign Animal Diseases) --PDF, 32KB

Procedures Manual for BSE Ongoing Surveillance Plan -- PDF, 441KB

Material Safety Data Sheets for Sample Media Provided by the NVSL



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