Routine Health Monitoring and Quarantine

Sample Collection & Shipping Guidelines

 

Fecal Pellet Collection

Feces: Fecal pellets for PCR evaluation should be collected with clean gloves and sterile forceps and placed in individually labeled sterile tubes.

  • If testing individual mice/rats, submit fecal pellets from each animal. Two or three pellets per animal are adquate.

Pelt Swab Sample Collection

Pelt Swab: Using a sterile, dry flocked swab, thoroughly swab the fur against the direction of the hair coat of the animal. It is important to swab around the face, back, tail base, and belly for the best results.

  • Insert the swab halfway into a labeled sterile tube, close the tube lid against the swab shaft, and pull down on the swab shaft to break the shaft. The tip end will fall into the tube, and the tube can be capped.
  • Place labeled sample tubes in a cardboard mailer or styrofoam box and ship overnight to our laboratory. Samples can be shipped at ambient temperature or on ice packs. 

Oral Swab Collection (for PCR Testing)

Oral Swab: Using a sterile, dry flocked swab, restrain the mouse/rat with one hand so that the head is not able to move from side to side.

  • Insert the oral swab starting at the corner of the mouth to encourage the animal to open its mouth.
  • Slowly twirl the swab to collect the sample.
  • Insert the swab halfway into a labeled sterile tube, close the tube lid against the swab shaft, and pull down on the swab shaft to break the shaft. The tip end will fall into the tube, and the tube can be capped.
  • Place labeled sample tubes in a cardboard mailer or styrofoam box and ship overnight to our laboratory. Samples can be shipped at ambient temperature or on ice packs.

Opti-Spot® Sample Collection

  1. Materials required 
    • Opti-Spot card (available from IDEXX BioAnalytics for no charge)
    • Lancet or needle
  2.  Sample labeling
    • Label one Opti-Spot card with a unique identification number for each sample strip.
  3. Opti-Spot cards and strips
    • The Opti-Spot cards are constructed with 5 individual strips separated by perforations. The strips are easily separated along the perforation lines for individual use.
    • On each strip, a 1.0 cm2 circle is printed on the face of the Opti-Spot membrane as a guide. It is not necessary that the blood spot be centered within the circle.
  4. Opti-Spot sample collection
    • Ante-mortem blood samples may be obtained by lancing the lateral saphenous, facial or the temporal vein. Touch the Opti-Spot membrane to blood drop as it forms on the surface of the skin.
    • If the blood sample is taken by cardiocentesis, quickly dispense one drop of whole blood onto the Opti-Spot strip.
    • The blood spot should be of sufficient size (approximately 1 cm2) to nearly fill the printed circle and be of sufficient volume to saturate the membrane. The blood spot will appear similar on both sides of the membrane.
    • Allow the blood spot to dry for a minimum of one hour.
    • Once dried, fold the protective upper tab over the blood spot and tuck under the lower tab.
  5. Sample Shipment
    • It is important that the Opti-Spot strip is protected from moisture. Once dry, place Opti-Spot samples in a water-tight plastic bag containing the provided silica gel desiccant pack, and ship samples in a standard overnight envelope.

Environmental Monitoring Sample Collection 

Exhaust Air Dust Collection Devices: In an effort to decrease the use of sentinel animals and increase the diagnostic sensitivity of monitoring rodent colonies for infectious agents, centralized whole rack level monitoring is being used as an adjunct to or a replacement for the use of soiled bedding sentinels. IDEXX BioAnalytics has a full suite of diagnostic real-time PCR assays based on the proprietary IDEXX BioAnalytics platform to provide testing for all of your environmental samples.

  1. Exhaust air debris collection filters, membranes, or matrices measuring up to 6 cm x 9.5 cm can be placed lengthwise in a 50 ml conical tube. 
    1. For matrices suspended in the exhaust air stream, the upward facing side of the matrix should face the center of the collection tube.
    2. For thin filters placed perpendicular to the air stream, the side of the filter facing the airflow should face the center of the collection tube. 2.
  2. A sample of exhaust air dust may be collected and placed directly in a 2.0 ml microcentrifuge tube for testing. 
  3. Swabs of plenums, prefilters, dust, or other surfaces can be placed in a 2 ml microcentrifuge tube and the swab head either snapped or cut so that only the swab head is in the tube. Collect as much debris/dust as the swab will hold from the dirtiest portion of the surfaces being swabbed.
  4. Cage Swab: Using a sterile, dry flocked swab, thoroughly swab the inside perimeter at the level of the bedding of the empty, soiled cage. Up to 10 cages can be swabbed using the same swab.
    • Insert the swab halfway into a labeled sterile tube, close the tube lid against the swab shaft, and pull down on the swab shaft to break the shaft. The tip end will fall into the tube and the tube can be capped.
    • Place labeled sample tubes in a cardboard mailer or styrofoam box and ship overnight to our laboratory. Samples can be shipped at ambient temperature or on ice packs.

Have questions or need additional information?

Let's get you connected to an experienced account manager or customer support representative. Call 1-800-669-0825 or 1-573-499-5700, email idexxbioanalytics@idexx.com or fill out the form below.

Sample Collection Kit Request

Please use this form to request Opti-Spot® and Advantage sample collection kits: Opti-Spot® cards, swabs, tubes, or serum vials and diluent. Delivery takes 5-7 days. We suggest ordering supplies to cover 3 months’ worth of testing.
 
If you have questions about quantities or would like assistance determining items and quantities, please contact us: idexxbioanalytics@idexx.com

Animal Health Monitoring Online Submission Guide

A quick reference guide to Animal Health Monitoring sample submissions in our online  portal.

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ONLINE SUBMISSION

To submit samples, please login to your account.

If you do not have an account, please fill out the new client registration form below, and our CSS team will assist in getting your account created.

 

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