Sending blood samples
Order a MELISA kit
You can order a test kit containing sodium citrate tubes and packaging that is compliant for international airfreight for shipping UN 3373 non-infectious category blood HERE.
Arrange a courier pick-up before drawing blood
Ideally, blood samples should arrive within 24 hours after being drawn. 48 hours is the maximum. Collection by/drop off to courier should be booked the day before the blood is drawn, so the sample can be sent as soon as possible. Depending on your location, FedEx or DHL are the only recommended couriers.
Avoid taking steroids or immuno suppressant drugs as these may affect the test results. Please always check with your healthcare practitioner before stopping medication. Patients suffering from widespread systemic infection should also make this clear to the laboratory ahead of testing as this may make the test results more difficult to evaluate. A list of medication which may affect testing is HERE
Send the right amount of blood
MELISA needs at least 3.6ml of blood for each metal tested, as well as for testing positive control and several negative controls. We recommend sending the following amount of tubes:
For 1-3 metals, use 2 x 9 ml tubes or 4 x 4.5 ml tubes
For 4-6 metals, use 4 x 9 ml tubes or 10 x 4.5 ml tubes
For 7-10 metals, use 5 x 9 ml tubes or 10 x 4.5 ml tubes
For 11 to 15 metals, use 6 x 9 ml tubes or 12 x 4.5 ml tubes
For 16 to 20 metals, use 7 x 9 ml tubes or 14 x 4.5 ml tubes
If you have a known disease which causes a low lymphocyte count, please send an extra tube. A smaller volume may be sent for children, as they have a denser lymphocyte count. Please check with the laboratory for more details.
Use citrate tubes
Samples for MELISA testing must be sent in citrate tubes which can be provided by MELISA. These are Becton-Dickinson or Greiner Vacutainer tubes containing sodium citrate, with a sterile interior and a light blue lid. Kits are usually sent from your nearest laboratory or can be available at the clinics listed on this site.
Do not centrifuge, do not chill
The sodium citrate tubes will be centrifuged when they arrive at the laboratory. The single red topped serum tube should ideally be spun for 10 minutes at 1800 – 2200 rcf/g and kept at room temperature.
All tubes should be sent at room temperature; chilled blood cannot be used in MELISA testing.
Include a request form
Include a request form clearly stating which panels/substances are required for testing. Every laboratory will have its own test order form.