Virology

Submission Policies

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Rabies Specimens

The Virology Section will accept animals for rabies testing from county health departments, county rabies animal control groups, state public health agencies, and veterinarians. Individuals wishing to have animals tested for rabies should contact their local rabies animal control group or their veterinarian.

The test used for rabies is called the Fluorescent Rabies Antibody test (FRA) and it cannot be performed on living animals. Turn-around time is 24 hours for routine testing. Emergency testing will give preliminary results within three hours of the receipt of the animal but confirmation of preliminary test results requires 24 hours. Animals received on Friday will not have testing completed until the following Monday (or Tuesday, in the event of a Monday holiday). Emergency testing will be performed only in situations where the potential for rabies in the suspect animal is high.

Specimens for Viral Isolation

The Virology section accepts clinical specimens from city, county, or state public health agencies. Specimens from private laboratories or physicians will be accepted only under the following conditions:

  • Reference specimens submitted as isolates for identification or quality control purposes.
  • Clinical specimens submitted for testing that is unavailable within the private sector.
  • Surveillance specimens submitted for the isolation of Influenza A or Influenza B.
  • Specimens submitted with the prior approval of the Virology Section or Office Manager.

Contact the Virology Laboratory if there are any questions regarding submissions.