Sample Collection and Submission

Tracheal / Oropharyngeal Swabs for AIV PCR

To properly obtain samples for AIV PCR you will need to have BHI broth tubes, polyester swabs, scissors, and gloves as well as fresh mortalities. In addition, you will need a cooler, cold pack, and submission form for submitting samples to the lab.

Sample Submission Table

Recommended Supplies:

Sample Collection:

1. Prepare supplies and put on gloves.

2. Open the bird at the commissure of the beak using the poultry shears.

3. Swab the trachea/oropharynx using a polyester swab. 

4. Swirl the swab in the BHI broth vigorously. Remove the swab and discard it. 

5. Collect up to 11 swabs in 1 BHI tube.

  • DO NOT send dry swabs.
  • DO NOT keep swabs in the tube.
  • IF splitting samples - swab the same bird twice and use 2 separate BHI tubes. 

6. Place the BHI tube in a bag and label it with the ISU VDL Web ID, submitter name, and site. 

Submission Form:

1. Fill out the Avian Test Request Form via the ISU VDL Web Portal

  • For more information on the ISU VDL Web Portal, see our Web-Based Tools page.
  • If needed, a paper form is available here.


1. Place the bags (and paper form, if used) in a cooler with a cold pack.

2. Ship overnight or hand-deliver to:

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
Iowa State University
1937 Christensen Drive
Ames, Iowa 50011