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Collecting Johne’s disease samples

Sample collection is generally the same for all JD testing purposes – interstate livestock movements, industry assurance programs, live animal export testing or clinical diagnosis. This  overview of the laboratory requirements is provided to facilitate the testing process.

testing a faecal sample for JD in the laboratory
  • About 30 grams of fresh faeces collected from the rectum should be submitted in a 70ml screw top specimen container, or equivalent. Sample pots must be leak-proof and impervious and individual Ziploc sample bags are not acceptable as primary containers for faeces. Containers should be ½ (minimum) to ¾ full. Please do not overfill pots.
  • Do not pool on farm unless approved by the testing laboratory, as pooling of individual samples is conducted by the laboratory (maximum 5 samples per pool for cattle).
  • Individual animal identification must be available and preferably should be provided as part of the laboratory submission so that any non-negative results can be referred for further testing or re-sampling if required.
  • Identification should be recorded on the sample pot (not the lid) and a spreadsheet of individual sample identifications accompanying the submission form facilitates the testing process.
  • Samples must be kept chilled, and should be delivered to the laboratory within 48 hours of collection to facilitate culture, if required. Therefore, consider sampling early in the week so that the samples can be transported to the lab and prepared for long term storage prior to the weekend.
  • Turn-around time for HT-J faecal PCR results is 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Samples that are positive via PCR may  need to  be tested by faecal culture by an accredited laboratory. Results for faecal culture may take a minimum of 10 to 15 weeks.