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Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

RFFIT Frequently Asked Questions

Results - Specimen Submission - Specimen Shipping


When are the results ready? 
RFFIT samples are tested in the order that they are received.

The turnaround time is approximately 3-4 weeks. In some cases samples must be retested and the turnaround time will be longer. If a sample is from a patient undergoing treatment for a (potential) rabies exposure, please mention it on the RFFIT form.

Some factors affecting the turnaround time that are beyond the control of the laboratory are:

  • Number of samples to be tested – if more samples arrive at one time the turnaround time will be longer because there is a limit as to how many samples that can be tested in a day.
  • Availability and viability of tissue culture cells – Cells are live and can be affected by minor changes in environment that can result in set failures (samples will need to be retested) – cells are the most important component of the test system. Also, if more than expected numbers of samples are received, it can take some time to prepare the number of cells needed for testing.
  • Virus growth – Similar to cells, virus growth can be affected by minor changes in the environment (temperature, humidity, pH, etc.). If the virus grows too much or not enough, the set of testing will not pass acceptance criteria (fail) and the samples will need to be retested.
  • Other unexpected conditions – closings due to inclement weather, etc.

My unvaccinated/overdue pet was bitten by a known/suspected rabid animal. Will a titer test tell me whether my pet has rabies? 
Unfortunately, the absence of a titer in an unvaccinated animal does not exclude a diagnosis of rabies, since some rabid animals may not have detectable levels of rabies antibodies. Also, the presence of a titer in an vaccinated animal may not assure protection from an exposure to rabies. Keep your pet current on its rabies vaccination and contact your veterinarian and local or state health department if you think your pet may have been exposed to rabies.

Specimen Submission:

Can I draw the sample in a serum separator tube?
Yes, the sample can be collected and sent in a serum separator tube (gel separated, red-top tube, tiger-top tube). However, if a serum separator tube is used, it is best to pour off the serum into a red top 3.0 to 5.0 mL tube and send only the serum part of the sample.

How long can serum be stored? 
We recommend serum storage be no more than one week in refrigeration before shipment. For longer storage you can freeze the serum at -20 °C.

Specimen Shipping:

What kind of ice should I use to send in my samples? 
A sufficient amount of pre-frozen gel packs or cold packs for the anticipated duration of transit should be placed in the package.

Does the laboratory accept weekend delivery? 
We accept deliveries Monday-Friday 8am-5pm [CST], excluding State Holidays. Samples can be refrigerated over the weekend.

Will I receive a confirmation when the Rabies Laboratory receives my samples? 
We do not send sample receipt confirmation. Please track your package to confirm we have received your sample. One to two days after the sample is received, you may use your microchip number to check the sample’s status at: http://www.vet.ksu.edu/depts/rabies/RabiesSearch/caseSearch.aspx.

Do I need to attach any kind of bio-hazard label on my shipping package?

How much does the RFFIT testing cost? 
Our requirements, policies and costs are updated on our website here: Tests and Fees