Serum Submission

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Sample Preparation

Sample Preparation

In general, the following instructions will be appropriate for most tests. However, sample collection procedures may vary depending on the type of testing requested and may affect the accuracy of the results reported. For that reason, in addition to the guidelnes below, please follow the guidelines for specific tests and procedures listed in our Services and Fees section, as well as any sample collection procedures provided on VDL submission forms.

Blood should be allowed to clot at room temperature before refrigerating or centrifuging.

Protect blood samples from direct sunlight, extreme heat, and freezing to prevent hemolysis and degradation of serum. Refrigerate when clotting is complete if centrifugation will be done hours later.

Provide at least 0.5 ml of serum/test requested. Make sure there are no erythrocytes in the serum because they interfere with certain tests.

Use permanent ink. Water soluble inks smear when moisture condenses on cool tubes.

Serum separator tubes may be inappropriate for some tests.

Note that serum separator tubes require centrifugation for a minimum of 10 minutes at 2,000 rpm.

Without centrifuging, slightly more serum may be required to obtain serum free of red blood cells.

Label, organize, and ship. See container recommendations and sample identification and shipping.

Container Recommendations

Container Recommendations

General Information

Tube Size Limits

  • Diameter: minimum 12mm; maximum 16mm (prefer 12-13mm)
  • Length (without stopper): minimum 75mm; maximum 100mm

Closure

  • Must be push on only and quickly removable with one hand.
  • Please do not use screw capped tubes.
  • Do not apply tape or parafilm on caps.

Tube Material

  • Glass: must be silicone treated.
  • Please do not use screw capped tubes.
  • Plastic: either polystyrene or polypropylene.

Specific Recommendations

The following tubes are easy to open and do not leak. The examples below are listed in order of preference.

  • Glass serum separator, 13X100mm (7ml) 
    (Corvac brand. These tubes are silicone treated and are packed in cardboard racks suitable for shipping. Available from: Midwest Vet Supply (800) 352-2831; Far-Vet Supply (800) 328-9483.)
  • Polystyrene 12X75mm 
    (Falcon Brand #2054. These tubes are sterile and include caps. Available from: Curtin Matheson (612) 934-1835; VWR Scientific (800) 932-5000.)
  • Polystyrene 12X75mm 
    (Tubes #5-3305-800, caps #5-3302-800. Available from: Helena Plastics (800) 227-1727.)
  • Polystyrene 12X75mm 
    (Tubes #60818-361, plug cap #60819-003. Available from: VWR Scientific (800) 932-5000.)

Sample Identification & Shipping

Sample Identification & Shipping

Identification

Tube numbers should be easily distinguishable from animal ID numbers (underline, circle, or use different color ink for tube numbers). Be legible to avoid a zero looking like a six, a four looking like a nine, etc.

Tubes should be numbered to indicate order on chart and be in consecutive order, e.g., 1 thru 10, or 21 thru 60, etc.

If samples from several sites or farms are sent to the lab in the same package, label tubes so it is clear whose samples are whose. The preferred method is to label all tubes with different numbers, e.g., Farm A, #1-10; Farm B, #11-40.

Use permanent ink. Water soluble ink may smear when moisture condenses on cool tubes.

Shipping

Please send tubes in a box with dividers, organized in chart order. To prevent leakage, push down on plastic tubes so that the cap lip is not stuck on the divider top. DO NOT SEND TUBES IN A BAG; they may leak because the caps loosen, or break. It also takes the lab much longer to organize them for testing.

Ship overnight. Protect from freezing in winter and heat in summer.

Submission Forms

Standard Minnesota Board of Animal Health Test Charts should be used with the actual signature of the veterinarian that drew the blood. Download submission forms.

If Brucellosis testing is required, include either the Federal Brucellosis Form, or copies in triplicate of the BAH Test Chart already prepared, with tests requested.

When testing for FAA and 4-H exhibitions, provide a separate test chart for each owner. If tubes from several farms are sent together in the same package, label the tubes with consecutive numbers to prevent confusing tubes between farms.

Considerations

test tubesPlease note that sample collection procedures may vary depending on the type of testing requested and may affect the accuracy of the results reported. For that reason, in addition to the guidelines above, please follow the guidelines for specific tests and procedures listed in our Services and Fees section, as well as any sample collection procedures provided on VDL submission forms.

Serum Storage

Samples will be retained for a certain amount of time, depending on the type of testing. Please see our Sample Retention Policies for detailed information.