Client Guidelines | Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Diagnostic Specimen Collection Protocols

Sample submission using appropriate containers is an important component of providing accurate and reliable results to our clients, as well as assuring safe handling for you and our staff. After collection, samples are to be placed in leak proof containers (please refer to Shipping Protocols - Packing Guidelines for examples of acceptable containers). Samples submitted in syringes, latex gloves, OB sleeves, or containers without sealable lids will not be processed or tested.

Sampling Protocols (includes)

Sample Submission Guidelines:
Bacteriology, Clinical Pathology, Molecular Diagnostics, Virology

Specimen Collection Protocols:
Abortion Protocol - Bovine, Camelid, Equine, Ovine, Porcine
Bovine Neonatal Diarrhea Protocol
Muscle Biopsy Protocol - Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy/EPSM

Specimen Transport Media

Proper selection of specimen transport media is essential for the isolation or detection of bacteria and viruses from respiratory swabs.  While bacterial isolation using standard culturette swabs containing Amies gel as a transport media is appropriate, the Amies gel is inhibitory for PCR and virus isolation techniques.  Likewise wooden stick swabs leach inhibitory compounds into transport media rendering virus isolation and detection techniques ineffective.  The following are recommendations for submission of swabs to the Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

Bacteriology:  Standard culturette swabs are appropriate for bacterial culture.

Virology and PCR:  Use a standard or flocked polyester tipped swab (flocked type are superior) with plastic stick to sample the mucus membranes. Rub membranes well in order to dislodge virus-infected cells.   Swabs should then be broken into a tube containing no more than one ml of transport medium ( e.g. BD Universal Viral Transport Media, Copan Universal Transport Media, Puritan UTM-RT).  If commercial transport media is not available, use a buffered saline solution, a bacteriological broth or a Virus Transport Media obtained from the OSU VDL. 

PCR only: Place swab into a dry sterile tube  (e.g. red top vacutainer-no separator gel) with a few drops of saline and ship refrigerated, overnight.  If virology might be requested following the PCR testing, please submit the sample in universal transport media rather than saline.

Examples of Universal Transport Media for Virology and Molecular testing:

Puritan  Medical Products UTM-RT Transport Systems # Puritan UT-116
Copan Universal Virus Collection  # 361C
BD™ Universal Viral Transport System (UVT)   # 220526


Shipping Information

Local Courier Service - We are pleased to provide complimentary pick up and delivery of diagnostic specimens from veterinary practices in the Corvallis-Albany-Lebanon-Philomath area.  Please call City Delivery at 1-800-759-6602 or 541-926-7300 to schedule a pickup.  For more information, please contact the lab at 541-737-3261

Packaging and shipping of clinical and diagnostic specimens is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the International Air and Transportation Association (IATA). These regulations are changed on a regular basis and should be consulted frequently.

Shipping Protocols


Ship To Us:

USPS Mailing Address:

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
PO Box 429
Corvallis OR 97339-0429


Shipping/Courier Address:
(UPS, FedEx, Greyhound, etc.)

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
134 Magruder Hall
Corvallis OR 97331-4801