The entire deceased animal or head from a rabies suspect animal is required for laboratory confirmation of rabies virus infection. Rabies suspect animals that are involved in human exposure or bite may require euthanasia by a veterinarian.
Confirmation of rabies requires a positive FA test of the brain and is conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama.
The state diagnostic laboratories facilitate rabies testing by brain removal, packaging and shipping of the brain to the Public Health Laboratory in Montgomery.
If a delay is anticipated when submitting a euthanized animal for rabies testing, refrigerate or hold the animal body on wet ice in a cooler prior to submission; do not freeze. Submission of a frozen or decomposed animal may result in an inconclusive rabies FA test.
A minimum of two to three working days are normally required for specimen collection, delivery and completion of the FA test.
Contact the Auburn laboratory or a regional laboratory in Elba, Hanceville or Boaz if you have questions.