How long does testing take?

Standard PCR – 2 working days, genotyping – 2 weeks. Please note there are certain sample types that require extra processing and take longer to process.

How should samples be transported to MDS?

MDS recommends samples are sent by courier, overnight and on ice. MDS collection kits, feathers and FTA cards are more stable and do not require being kept cold during transport.

My result had a ‘poor internal control’ comment, what does this mean?

All samples are checked for sample quality, for sample types that contain cellular material (eg. EDTA blood / tissue) we test for DNA that is present in all cells, this give us an indication of sample quality. In those cases where little cellular material is collected (eg. swab), the internal control is often absent. On such samples, a second assay is performed to monitor for the presence of inhibitors. A ‘poor internal control’ comment means that the reaction we got when testing for cellular DNA was lower than expected and results reported as ‘Not detected’ should be treated with caution as there may not have been enough cellular material present in the sample to achieve an accurate result.

Should I send the sample on ice?

Yes. However MDS collection kits, feathers and FTA cards do not need to be sent on ice.

Should I use transport media?

No, it is preferable to submit a dry swab for testing, rather than a swab in transport media.

What is the sensitivity and specificity of your tests?

PCR is a very sensitive and specific method of testing for pathogens. Without well characterised positive control material of a known concentration, the sensitivity of a test cannot be determined. Unfortunately such material is very scarce for Veterinary testing.

How old does a bird need to be to determine its sex?

Avian sexing is a genetic test and gender can be determined from birth.

How do I find my results on the Vetsite?

Results will be automatically emailed from our Vetsite as soon as results have been approved and payment has been received. Clients are also able to access results by logging into their account on the Vetsite, instructions are provided at

What is the appropriate sample type for the test I requested?

Please see our veterinary request form

What is the minimum amount/volume of sample that is required for testing?

The minimum volume depends on the sample type received. For individual animals samples eg. EDTA blood and other bodily fluids, 200µl is recommended. For washes 2ml is recommended. For bulk milk testing 100-150ml is required.

What is the indication for use of the rapid test kits?

Even though the rapid test is not as sensitive as PCR, this kit is very convenient for the veterinarian to diagnosis with accuracy and easy in field use. These scientific tools can help finding the exact disease.

Where can rapid test kits be bought from?

Kits can be bought from Molecular Diagnostic Services or through veterinary Wholesaler Lakato.

Could a positive result for a rapid test kit be caused by a vaccination for the following?
Canine parvovirus
Canine distemper virus
Canine adenovirus
Bordetella bronchiseptica
Feline panleucopaenia virus
Feline leukaemia

The suppliers of the rapid test kits caution that because of the high titre of some of the vaccines it could be possible that vaccine antigen is present in the analysed sample up to 2 to 3 weeks post vaccination. They therefore caution that positive results within three weeks post vaccination could be due to the vaccine. According to the manufacturers rapid test results after 3 weeks should are not affected by the vaccine.