AHL LabNote 8-Aleutian mink disease testing at the AHL

Updated May 2020

The Animal Health Laboratory offers counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIP) serological testing for Aleutian mink disease virus in mink.
When to test?
a) Grading time. Test all potential breeders during the grading time from October to mid-November.
b) Prior to breeding. Test all potential breeders in February, as close to breeding as possible.
c) Prior to weaning/separation of kits during July.
d) When new mink are obtained.  No new mink should be brought to the ranch without prior testing.  New
    mink should be isolated from other animals for at least 30 days and retested.

How to submit?

a) Book the date of testing (at least 2 weeks) in advance, especially for more than 100 samples.

b) Samples should be submitted in multiples of 20.  Capillary tubes, sealer and cardboard can be obtained from the AHL (email: ahl.virology@uoguelph.ca; phone (519) 824-4120, ext. 54514).


  • Mink should not be fed for one day before sample collection.  Water is okay.
  • Collect samples from every shed, color phase and group on the ranch.
  • Clip the toenail just above the vein (pink area of toenail).  Disinfect clippers between animals.
  • Collect sufficient blood to fill a capillary tube and seal it.  Use RED heparinized capillary tubes only. Allow the blood samples to clot (about 20 minutes at room temperature).
  • Place 20 blood samples/group on the surface of each cardboard.  Do not place between the layers of corrugate.
  • Securely tape blood samples on the cardboard with ¾” masking tape (if using masking tape for centrifuged blood, serum should be visible).  One tape secured at the base of the cardboard (pocket-like pouch), and the other at the mid-point of cardboard.
  • Label each group with sequential numbers, such as group 1, group 2, etc., and be sure that you can match the blood sample with the individual animal ID.
  • When submitting more than 200 samples, centrifuge the tubes if possible.
  • Samples should be refrigerated.  Do not allow samples to freeze.
  • Deliver to AHL as soon as possible (within 24–48 hr of collection).
  • Submit samples early in the week for faster processing.

How much does it cost?

a)    Setup charge of $30.00 per submission.

b)    Each sample: $2.00 (includes capillary tubes, sealer and cardboard).

Please Note: A 150% out of province surcharge may be applied to submissions where animals and owners are from outside the province of Ontario. Please contact AHL for pricing.


For more information, or to book the date of testing email ahl.virology@uoguelph.ca