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Packaging Specimens

The infectious nature of the specimen must be determined before packaging and shipping. In determining whether a patient specimen has minimal likelihood that pathogens are present, an element of professional judgment is required. The judgment should be based on the known medical history, symptoms and individual circumstances and endemic local conditions. 

Patient specimens that have a minimal likelihood of containing pathogens are listed as "Exempt specimens" according to the 2005-2006 International Civil Aviaton Organization document on (Addendum No.2, dated 6/30/05) and as "Diagnostic (clinical specimens)" according to the Domestic Mail Manual published by USPS. Complying with the regulations set forth by ICAO, IATA, USPS and DOT is important when packaging and shipping these specimens. 

Such specimens should be packaged as follows:


  1. A leak proof primary receptacle(s) or the BL tubes provided in the kits. These should be sealed securely.

  2. The specimen tube(s) should be surrounded by the absorbent material provided in the BL kits. If using more than one tube in one packing, each tube should be individually wrapped.

  3. Place the wrapped tube(s) in the Styrofoam box provided in the kit.

  4. Place the box in the Ziploc plastic bag.

  5. Wrap the Test Request Form around it.

  6. Place the plastic bag with the box and the test request form in a self addressed sleeve provided with kit, close flaps and seal sleeve with tape.

  7. Add your name and address to the postpaid sleeve.

Specimens for direct IF studies and histological studies


Specimens should be shipped to the laboratory at ambient temperatures. Do not freeze. 

Specimens for serum studies


Serum or blood specimens should be shipped to the laboratory at ambient temperatures. Do not freeze. 

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