The following test completion times are approximate and representative of full staffing and operational capability. A surge of specimens due to holiday schedules or peak activity of testing program or regulatory actions may extend these times in the affected section.  Cases involving cultures for Johne’s disease or testing for chronic wasting disease of deer have longer completion times.

Necropsy case investigation.

Preliminary necropsy results are often available by telephone consultation with the duty pathologist by the next day. Final necropsy results, to include histopathology and related tests require 15 to 20 working days, minimum. Special tests required from outside laboratories may extend the time for final diagnosis. Case investigations that begin at the regional laboratories and involve samples submitted to the Auburn laboratory may require an additional 5 to 7 days for the final report.

Histopathology and Cytology

Biopsies are trimmed on the day of receipt and slides prepared by the next day. We strive to report biopsy results within 3 working days.  Cases that require special stains, additional sections, or ancillary testing (microbiology, toxicology, others) take longer but preliminary histopathologic results are usually available within 3 working days.

Bacteriology and Mycology

Bacterial and fungal specimens are processed on the afternoon of the day of receipt. Aerobic bacteria usually require 3 to 4 working days for identification and antibiotic susceptibility testing, while anaerobic cultures require 5 to 7 working days for completion of identification. Certain bacterial and fungal pathogens may take longer to grow and identify.  Fungal cultures can take at least 4 to 6 weeks turn around time.


Some virology tests are completed in 2 to 4 working days (BVD ear notch, antigen capture ELISA, FA). Virus isolation requires 15 to 20 working days for final results, or longer. Virus identification and characterization may involve molecular testing or referral to a reference laboratory for additional tests, which may extend the time to final test report.

Molecular Diagnostics (PCR)

A single test may be finished within 2 working days. Panels of tests require 5 to 7 working days. Additional characterization tests, such as RFLP or sequencing require may extend the time to final test report.


Coggins tests are set up daily and results are usually ready by end of the next working day, if no supplemental tests are required.  The poultry processing avian influenza tests are completed within 2 working days after receipt. Other serology tests are completed within 3 to 5 working days, depending on the number of tests requested. For all serology tests, follow-up testing may extend completion time.


The time for toxicologic and chemical analyses varies, based on the number and similarity of tests, and the complexity of the extraction procedure. Single analyses may be completed within 3 to 5 working days. Insecticide analysis, metal profiles and test panels may require 15 to 20 working days for the completion of all tests.


Two to five working days are required for parasitology tests. Tritrichomonas testing (culture/PCR) will take at least ten working days.


Two to three working days are generally required for routine rabies testing. Rabies tests that require follow-up or additional tests require more time.

Honey Bee Testing

This section of the laboratory is in development. Additional information on testing times will be posted as we gain experience.