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Instructions for Submitting Diagnostic Specimens for Testing by the DVBD Bacterial Diseases Diagnostic Laboratory

CDC Submission Form

Complete a CDC submission form (CDC 50.34) CDC Data and Specimen Handling (DASH) section form 50.34 for submission of laboratory specimens or call DVBD for a copy at 970-221-6400.

The following requirements are based on the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA).

NOTE: Testing will not be initiated without the following inclusions:

On the test request form:

  1. unique specimen identification number or patient name
  2. type of specimen (e.g. serum, csf, etc…)
  3. suspected etiology
  4. date of onset of symptoms
  5. brief clinical description
  6. date of specimen collection
  7. antibiotic treatment received
  8. any pertinent travel history

On the test specimen container:

  1. Unique specimen identification number or patient name
  2. Source of sample if multiple samples are submitted

NOTE: The submitter will be notified if any information needed is incomplete.


For information regarding shipping packages and applicable regulations, please refer to the NCEZID Division of Scientific Resources' Specimen Management site for specific information.

Specimen Types and Amounts

  1. Acute and convalescent specimens, if available, should be sent together and labeled as S1 and S2.
  2. Ideal timing of specimens:
Specimen Timing

3 to 10 days after onset of symptoms


2-3 weeks after acute sample

NOTE: If acute sample is taken prior to 10 days post-onset of symptoms, antibodies may not have had time to develop and a false negative may result.

  1. The specimens listed below may be sent on cold or "blue" ice packs:
Type of Specimen Minimum Amount Required for Testing
Bacterial culture

Slant, agar plates, agar stabs

Blood (Bacterial isolation)

5 mL – 9 mL, anticoagulant needed

Fluids/Aspirates (Bacterial) 1 mL – 5 mL
Serum/Plasma/CSF (Serology) 0.5 mL or more
Tissue (Bacterial isolation) 1 cm2 of pathologic area

Testing Results

Test results are normally available 10 to 14 days after specimen receipt. Reporting times for test results may be longer during summer months when bacterial zoonoses activity increases. Receipt of a hard copy of the results will take 2 weeks after testing completion.

Shipping Address

Send all specimens via Federal Express to:

3156 Rampart Road
Fort Collins, CO 80521

Further Assistance

Additional assistance may be obtained from the DVBD Bacterial Diseases Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory at 970-221-6444.