Submitting Specimens to CDC’s Viral Special Pathogens Branch
We provide clinical consultation to state and local health departments for suspect cases of certain dangerous viruses. If it is required, we provide diagnostic and confirmatory testing for these viruses. CDC cannot accept any sample for testing without prior consultation.
State health departments can review the following guidelines and submit specimens to CDC using the forms below. Request hard copies of the forms, if necessary, by calling the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Physicians in the U.S. should contact state or local health departments for consultation and questions.
Physicians outside of the U.S. should contact CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100 or email email@example.com for questions.
Private citizens should not submit specimens to CDC for testing. If you feel that diagnostic testing is necessary, consult your physician or state health department.
Once testing is approved following consultation with VSPB, please complete and submit the VSPB Specimen Submission Form pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages] along with the specimen you are requesting to test.
To submit a non-human primate specimen for testing, complete the Primate Testing Form pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages], following the instructions included on the form. Include a copy of the form with the specimen, saving another copy for your records. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding submitting a specimen or any public health emergency, please contact your state or local health department or contact the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.
|Test||Specimen type||Volume||Packaging requirements|
whole blood (EDTA)
|Minimum: 4 ml.||Place in plastic screw capped vials, freeze at -70°C to -20°C or below, and send on dry ice.|
|Serology||Whole blood or serum.||Minimum: 4 ml.||Place in plastic screw capped vials, freeze at -70°C to -20°C or below, and send on dry ice.|
- No specimens will be accepted at CDC without prior consultation. For consultation, state or local health departments can call CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.
- If testing at CDC is approved, email tracking number to email@example.com.
- Package in accordance with the International Air Transport Association (I.A.T.A.)external icon regulations to prevent leakage.
- Ship to:
- <Insert CDC Point of Contact>
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
RDSB/STAT Unit 70
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
- <Insert CDC Point of Contact>
- Specify specimen storage requirement (Frozen) on the outside of the box. Label sample as diagnostic specimen and include the following information:
- Your name
- Patient’s name
- Test(s) requested
- Date of collection
- Laboratory or accession number
- Type of specimen being shipped
- Fill out and include both the CDC Form 50.34 and VSPB’s specimen submission form pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages]
- If required, the Primate Submission form pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages] or the Hantavirus Disease Case Report form pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] (for hantavirus testing only).
- Send specimens by overnight courier (FedEx preferred). Please request early delivery to expedite accessioning and testing. Fax or email airway bill number and packing list to VSPB at (404) 471-2526. For international submitters, consider direct shipment with an airline to expedite arrival at CDC. Do not ship for weekend delivery unless instructed by CDC.
- Subsequent shipments during outbreak may require U.S. Public Health permits.
- Hospitals should follow state and/or local health department procedures for notification and consultation for Ebola testing requests prior to contacting CDC.
- NO specimens will be accepted at CDC without prior consultation. For consultation call the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center at 770-488-7100.
- State guidelines may differ; contact your state/or local health department prior to shipping specimens. Your state and/or local health department, in collaboration with CDC, will determine the proper category for shipment based on clinical history and risk assessment.