Specimen and Processing Information (PDF)

Accepted Specimens

  • Serum
  • CSF
  • Serous body fluids (pleural, peritoneal, pericardial)
  • Synovial Fluid

Unacceptable for Testing

  • Plasma
  • Bronchial Alveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Urine
  • Grossly purulent fluids
  • Wound drainage
  • Swabs
  • Sputum

Ideal Volume

  • 2 mL (human)
  • 1 mL (veterinary)

Absolute Minimum

  • 0.5 mL (human and veterinary) *

*The qualitative immunodiffusion screen will be performed on an unconcentrated specimen which may decrease sensitivity. Quantitative immunodiffusion will be performed to obtain a serology titer.


  • Gross hemolysis or icterus may affect visualization of reactions by immunodiffusion
  • Gross lipemia may cause interferences with complement fixation

Specimen Storage and Stability

  • Ambient: 72 hours (aliquoted serum)
  • 2-8oC: 7 days (aliquoted serum)
  • -20oC: 2 months (aliquoted serum)

For specimens outside these stability limits, please contact the laboratory

Specimen Collection and Processing

Allow serum samples to clot at room temperature. Please separate serum from cells prior to sending. Even when using serum separator tubes, serum should be transferred into another tube as the chemical composition of the serum can change and potentially affect results.

For CSF and other body fluids, a sterile container without anticoagulants or other additives is appropriate.