Virus Isolation Diagnostic Testing

Virus Isolation is a highly relevant and important testing method used assist in the diagnosis of viral infections, including those of emerging, re-emerging, and novel viral pathogens. Isolation and identification of viruses using cell culture methods or embryonated chicken eggs are performed at the AHDC on a variety of species including but not limited to bovine, equine, canine, feline, camelids, avian, reptiles, and various wildlife and exotic species. Turnaround time for the testing varies and is largely dependent on the rate of growth/replication of the virus and the method ultimately used to identify the virus. Fresh samples provide the most reliable results. Best sample type depends on the suspected virus and the pathogenesis of the infection related to viremia (virus in the blood), target tissues (e.g. lung, intestine, etc), and patterns and duration of viral shedding in bodily secretions (e.g. nasal secretions, saliva and/or feces).

For fee and additional information:

For additional questions or discussion on specific needs, please contact Dr. Diego Diel, Virology Director:

Further guidance regarding diagnostic plans and panels can be found here:

Testing Strategies

Respiratory Disease

  1. Nasal Swabs, Pharyngeal Swabs, oral swabs
  2. Tracheal wash, broncho-alveolar lavage
  3. Upper airway tissues, lung

Neurological Disease

  1. Brain, brain stem, spinal cord
  2. CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid)
  3. EDTA Whole Blood

Enteric Disease

  1. Feces
  2. Jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon

Reproductive Disease/Abortion

  1. Placenta
  2. Fetal Tissues: lung, liver, kidney, spleen, adrenal
  3. Vaginal or preputial swabs


  • Swabs in bacterial transport medium are not appropriate for virus isolation or PCR testing. If viral transport media is unavailable, place swabs in a sterile tube (e.g. 15 ml conical tubes or red top tube) with a few drops of saline.
  • For best results collect fresh samples, then store and ship them refrigerated.
  • Fixed tissues are not appropriate for virus isolation.
  • For regulatory, export, and additional BVDV testing please see: Equine Arteritis Virus (EAV) Semen Isolation, OIE (EVASI), Bovine Virus Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) Serum Isolation (BVDSI), and Bovine Virus Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) Whole Blood Isolation (BVDBI) and/or contact the Regulatory Affairs: 607-253-4141

Collection Containers

  1. Swabs in Viral Transport Medium
  2. Leakproof, unbreakable container
  3. Lavender top blood tube