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Instructions how to sample for salmonella in the environment, sock samples and Kits

A kit to be used for sampling (referral forms; sampling socks; return envelope (address labels etc.) can be ordered free of charge from SVA. For the laboratory to be well prepared it is very useful if the person submitting the samples can predict when the samples are to be expected.

To carry out the sampling, special sampling socks, or cut tube gauze, are used. A pair of socks forms a so-called “pooled sock sample.”

Sampling strategy

Before sampling, the socks are put in a clean plastic bag and moistened by a sterile saline solution, or tap water is poured over them. If tap water is being used it must be from a tap used for watering the animals. It must not be chlorinated. Make sure all the socks are moist – be careful so they do not fall out of the bag.

Put on shoe covers and protective gloves when entering the premises. Not until you are in the area to be sampled should the first pair of socks be put on the feet.

It is manure channels and drains etc and boxes that shall be sampled. Walk around with small steps and use one pair of socks for every part of the system.  In stables with boxes use socks while collecting faecal samples in the boxes.

If tube gauze instead of socks is used, it is slipped over the shoe cover on the toe part of the foot, one tube gauze on each foot. Rotate the tube gauze gradually so every part of the fabric is exposed to the surface being sampled.

After sampling, the socks or tube gauze are put in a separate plastic bag. Be careful when you remove the socks from the foot so as little sampled material as possible falls off the sock. The sock can be turned inside out to avoid this. Let the shoe cover stay on the foot. Change gloves and shoe covers between each building/pen.  Seal the bag properly.

Environmental samples in the form of dust samples

The dust sample is best taken at the same time as sock and faecal samples are collected. Each dust sample shall consist of three dust cloths per animal group. Wear disposable gloves when sampling.

Unfold the sample napkins (23 x 23 cm) and moist them with the supplied buffer or saline solution. Wipe dusty surfaces of the stable interior (gates, box walls, water facilities etc.) corresponding to where sock and faecal samples are collected.
Make sure that both sides of the entire cloths are covered with dust.

Put the napkins one by one in a plastic bag and seal it with a plastic clip or a knot.

After sampling is completed, all bags containing samples are put in the sealable plastic bag provided in the sampling kit. The referral form is filled out according to instruction. Send the samples to SVA in the enclosed return envelope. If possible, the sampling should be organised so the parcel can be at SVA the day after sampling. If samples are taken on a Friday, it is better to keep them in a fridge over the weekend and post them on Sunday afternoon.

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