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RULE §169.33Submission of Specimens for Laboratory Examination

Preparation of specimens either for shipment or for personal delivery for rabies diagnosis shall include the following.

  (1) Damage to the brain caused by shooting or other traumatizing procedures shall be avoided.

  (2) The head of the suspect animal shall be separated from the body by a qualified person wearing appropriate personal protective equipment as soon as possible after the death of the animal. Only the head shall be submitted with the exception that whole bats and small rodents may be submitted. If only the brain is submitted rather than the entire head, the minimum tissue requirements for rabies testing are a complete transverse cross section of the brain stem and tissue from at least one of the following: cerebellum and/or hippocampus. Submissions that do not meet these tissue requirements will be considered unsatisfactory due to a lack of sufficient material.

  (3) The specimen shall be immediately chilled to between 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 45 degrees Fahrenheit either in a refrigerator or by packing for shipping with sufficient amounts of refrigerants in the container; the specimen should not be frozen. When shipping, sufficient refrigerant shall be added so the specimen will remain chilled for a minimum of 48 hours. Do not use dry ice. Gel packs or similar refrigerants are recommended. Ice is not recommended.

  (4) If specimens are shipped, containment in compliance with requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 49, shall be used for packing. Packing methods shall prevent leakage and provide for proper identification (such as an identification number) of the specimen.

  (5) A completed department Form G-9, Rabies Submission Form, which is available at the department's Laboratory Services Section, Department of State Health Services, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756, is required for each specimen submitted to the department's Laboratory Services Section. Each form must contain the same identification information provided with the specimen as stated in paragraph (4) of this section. Submission form(s) shall be contained in a water-proof bag.

  (6) Labeling on the outside of the shipping container shall be legible and include:

    (A) name, address, and telephone number of the laboratory;

    (B) name, return address, and telephone number of the shipper;

    (C) language in compliance with requirements in the CFR, Title 49, pertaining to the shipment of infectious substances for diagnostic purposes; and


  (7) The following procedures are required for shipment:

    (A) shipment shall be by bus or other reliable carrier; the department does not recommend the United States Postal Service. If an overnight carrier (other than bus) is used, ship the specimen such that it will arrive by Friday or delay shipment until Monday. Do not ship via overnight carrier on Friday or the day before a holiday. These services do not deliver to the department on the weekend or on holidays;

    (B) a shipping receipt will be obtained and retained by the shipper;

    (C) at the time of the shipment, the shipper shall notify laboratory personnel of the shipment via telephone or laboratory-approved electronic format; and

    (D) the shipper shall provide the return postage (in the form of stamps, not money) if return of the shipping container is desired.

  (8) Paragraphs (5) and (6) of this section apply to specimens submitted to the department's Laboratory Services Section. The appropriate form, labeling instructions, and shipping requirements for another department-designated laboratory can be obtained by contacting that laboratory; a list of these laboratories with their contact information will be maintained on the department's website.

Source Note: The provisions of this §169.33 adopted to be effective August 24, 1982, 7 TexReg 2993; amended to be effective March 29, 1988, 13 TexReg 1337; amended to be effective February 22, 1993, 18 TexReg 845; amended to be effective February 21, 1996, 21 TexReg 963; amended to be effective July 12, 1998, 23 TexReg 7224; amended to be effective March 19, 2003, 28 TexReg 2341; amended to be effective December 20, 2007, 32 TexReg 9341; amended to be effective March 31, 2013, 38 TexReg 1994

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