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Molecular Diagnostics


Testing Strategies for Molecular Diagnostics


Respiratory disease
Saline-moistened nasal swab, trimmed and placed in a tube next to absorbent material in a sealed bag.

  • Samples should be collected within 3 days of clinical onset or earlier for best diagnostic sensitivity
  • Swabs should be in sterile, sealed vials with several drops of saline added (swabs from the same animal will be pooled)
  • Do not send swabs in bacterial transport media. Cotton, plastic, wood-handled, Dacron, and other synhetic swabs are all acceptable
  • Tracheal washes and respiratory tissues can also be tested (a processing fee will be charged for fixed tissues)
  • Species-specific recommendations:
    • Cats: both a nasal and oral-pharyngeal swab
    • Dogs: both a nasopharyngeal and a nasal swab
    • Horses: a deep nasal swab is preferred - EDTA blood can be submitted for EHV 1 and 4 and will be tested for these viruses individually
    • Cows: nasal swab or trans-tracheal wash

See image at right for example of a saline-moistened nasal swab, trimmed and placed in a tube next to absorbent material in a sealed bag.

Tick-borne disease and fever of unknown origin

  • Ticks
  • EDTA blood
  • CSF
  • Ocular fluid
  • CNS tissue/ equine nuchal ligament biopsy
  • Skin biopsy (if rash present) – not fixed
  • Samples currently under evaluation for diagnostic sensitivity (currently tested at no charge):
    • Joint fluid
    • Urine

Samples may be tested for additional agents at no charge as part of our validation process. A listing of these agents can be found on our tick testing site.

Please see our test list and species-specific diagnostic panels on the AHDC home page for more information. Components of panel tests can be requested individually, however we encourage our clients to take advantage of panel testing for the most comprehensive results.