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Information for Diagnostic Laboratories

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Collection of Samples for Diagnosis of Rabies in Animals

Testing for rabies in animals is done postmortem and may be necessary to determine the rabies exposure risk to humans. Samples requiring confirmation, variant typing, or formalin-fixed tissues may be sent to CDC for additional diagnostic testing. The Rabies Laboratory should be contacted at 404-639-1050 before any samples are submitted for testing.

For detailed information about how to submit specimens to CDC, see Rabies Specimen Submission Guidelines.

Instructions for formalin-fixed tissue

  1. Patient History: If a human exposure is involved, include a complete patient history with all the known information regarding the exposure.
  2. Include reports on pathological findings by light microscopy of the H & E stained slides, if available.
  3. Submit H & E stained section from each paraffin block being submitted, to include brain stem, hippocampus, and cerebellum and other areas indicative of lesions. If the submitting laboratory cannot provide unstained sections to CDC and provides paraffin blocks for FFFA testing, processing time will be one week.
  4. Submit 4 or 5 unstained sections - from each of these blocks mounted on coated slides.
  5. Submit the paraffin blocks from which these slides were sectioned.
  6. Specimens must be placed in sealed mailing containers or bags put in a Styrofoam box or padded manila envelope for shipping.

For more information about how to ship specimens to CDC, including the mailing address, see Rabies Specimen Submission Guidelines.

Collection of Samples for Diagnosis of Rabies in Humans

State health departments should be the primary contact for physicians during consultation about possible human rabies cases. After the consultation, it may be deemed necessary to send human samples for rabies testing to the Rabies Laboratory at CDC. Any questions regarding likelihood of a case, sampling techniques, and shipping can be answered by calling the CDC Rabies Duty Officer  at (404)-639-1050.

For detailed information about how to submit specimens to CDC, see Rabies Specimen Submission Guidelines.

   
 
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