Collection and Submission of Samples for Bovine Tritrichomonas Testing

The NDSU-VDL uses a PCR assay to test for Tritrichomonas foetus. The test is sensitive and does not cross-react with commensals or fecal trichomonads. The best results are obtained from properly collected and transported samples.


  • Fill out the Herd Serology/PCR Submission Form and enclose a copy with the samples (
    • Typed and emailed forms are
  • The collection date must be noted on the submission form. Failure to record a collection date may cause a delay in testing.
  • The submitter must indicate on the submission form whether samples should be tested individually or pooled. If unmarked, samples will be tested individually.
  • Samples must be pooled at the Individuals in positive pools will be retested automatically and charged accordingly.
  • Pooled testing is not recommended for testing animals from herds with known or suspected Tritrichomonas infections.
  • The submitter is responsible for checking destination state requirements concerning pooled testing of samples for Tritrichomonas.
  • Samples will not be pooled if testing for both Tritrichomonas and Campylobacter is requested

Collection and Storage:

  • Collection notes for direct preputial washings (preferred sample):
    • Use a clean pair of exam gloves for each
    • Remove extraneous material and soiled DO NOT cleanse sampling area with disinfectants (inactivates protozoa).
    • An appropriately collected washing should be light pink and cloudy with visible material and little blood or debris. A minimum of 2 mL of liquid is required. Clear samples and samples with significant blood or debris contamination are not appropriate for testing and may either be rejected or reported with a disclaimer on test results.
  • Submit samples in sterile, screwcap containers or red top tubes [RTT] (WITHOUT serum separator gel or preservatives). Plastic RTT tubes are highly recommended.
    • DO NOT collect samples in Whirl-Paks, sandwich bags, or urine cups, because these containers leak and contaminate other samples.
    • Broken, cracked, or leaking samples will not be Depending on packaging, remaining samples may also be rejected if they are visibly contaminated.
    • InPouch™ samples can be tested; however, they are not recommended because of cumbersome handling Inoculate the InPouch™ and incubate 24-48 hours at 37°C before sending to the laboratory. Protect from exposure to sunlight or temperature extremes (keep at 15-37°C). Do not freeze.
  • Ship samples on cold packs


  • Samples must be received by the laboratory within 5 days of the collection date, or the sample(s) will be rejected because false positive results may be possible. Ship samples overnight to the laboratory whenever possible.
  • Avoid shipping on Friday, during expected bad weather, over long holiday weekends, or delivering samples over the weekend because the laboratory does not receive mail or deliveries over the weekend or when the laboratory is closed for weather events

View a printable version here.

Revised 09-2021