AHL LabNote 36-Clinical sampling for Virology testing at AHL – Sampling supplies

November 2022

One of the most important aspects of diagnostic work is the actual sampling and handling of the samples prior to being received at the diagnostic laboratory. The Animal Health Laboratory submission instructions are available in our 2022 user manual and on our website.


Usually the best sample for microbiology diagnostics is the substrate itself – feces, tissue, or fluid in leak-proof containers (liquids, feces) or leak-proof “whirl-pak” bags (tissue, feces)  (“ziplock” bags are discouraged!)

Bacteriology and Mycoplasmology

AHL prefers a regular gel-based bacteriological swab.

Starswab Amies Clear  - VWR # CA66410-103L

Or BD single swab - Fisher # B4320115


If swabs are needed, AHL prefers virus transport medium swabs for virology PCR diagnostic tests. For some testing – e.g., as noted in LabNote 30   Porcine PEDV and PDCoV testing at the AHL– a fecal swab in VTM is the preferred sample rather than feces.

Regular gel-based Bacteriology swabs are unsuitable for PCR testing. Dry swabs moistened with sterile saline in a sterile container can be used but VTM is preferred.

BD™ Universal Viral Transport Standard Kit – Fisher Scientific : Catalog # B220531

Or Multitrans™ Collection and Transportation System, Starplex® VWR # CA73270-008

https://static.fishersci.ca/images/F103213~wl.jpg           https://ca.vwr.com/stibo/web/std.lang.all/34/95/4673495.jpg

These VTM swabs are also available from AHL for a fee – please email ahlinfo@uoguelph.ca to order.

Jim Fairles Client Service Veterinarian 519-824-4120 ext 54611 jfairles@uoguelph.ca

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