The following guidelines are provided for submission of fish. ADDL accepts specimens from all species of fish.

1. Please complete an Aquatic Submission Form, available on the ADDL Forms page, and submit with sample.

2. The best sample for submission is an acutely affected, live fish exhibiting clinical signs or having gross lesions of disease. Three to five adult fish or 20-25 fingerlings are recommended for fish kill cases.

3. Sixty fish per lot or 150 fish per farm are required for submission for fish health inspection. Fish submitted for such purpose should be collected under the supervision of a fish pathologist, fish health specialist, fish biologist, or veterinarian.

4. The best method for transporting fish to the ADDL is hand delivery, with fish in a clean bucket, or plastic or styrofoam cooler in water from the environment from which the fish originated. If transportation time exceeds 1-2 hours, it is recommended that a small battery-operated aerator be used for supplemental oxygen.

5. For overnight shipment, place fish in a large, thick, transparent plastic bag filled approximately 1/3 full with water. An "air cap" of oxygen should be present immediately above the water surface, occupying at least 1/3-1/2 of the plastic bag. The bag should be securely tied and placed inside another bag to prevent leakage. This bag should be placed in a thick, wax-coated cardboard box for shipping.

6. It is a good practice to conduct the standard water quality tests (including the dissolved oxygen concentration) on site. The water sample can be submitted along with the fish submission for aquatic toxicology examination at ADDL. The water sample should be submitted in a clean, one quart glass jar with a screw top lid (e.g.. canning jar) with a layer of aluminum foil placed between the water sample and the lid. Water samples shipped in this manner are satisfactory for pesticide or herbicide analysis.

7. Aquatic diagnostics include aquatic necropsy, histopathology, bacteriology, virology, and toxicology.

8. Aquatic specimens submitted for bacteriology, virology, and/or toxicology examination will be processed by the Bacteriology and Mycology Section, Virology Section, and Toxicology Section in the ADDL, respectively, and should comply with submission requirements specified by the appropriate section.

9. For tissues submitted for aquatic histopathology:

  • Tissues should not be more than 0.5 cm thick and should be submitted in wide mouth jars containing 10% buffered formalin. The volume of tissue specimens to that of 10% formalin in a jar should be a 1:10 ratio.
  • Suggested tissue specimens include skull, vertebrae, brain, gill, heart, spleen, liver, anterior/posterior kidney, swim bladder, stomach, intestine, skin, muscle, and fins, as well as specific lesions in any organ/ tissue observed at gross examination.

10. Several special procedures are available for the detection of aquatic pathogens in the ADDL, including immunofluorescent antibody assay (IFA) for bacterial kidney disease (Renibacterium salmoninarum). Other special procedures may be arranged on request by contacting ADDL at 765-494-7440.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, 765-494-7607

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