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  • ALERT: Do not send your samples for MELISA testing to the lab in Germany due to the closure of the lab. More information HERE.

Sending blood samples

  • Book shipping, 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 steroids

    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 SHOULD NOT be spun after phlebotomy. They will be centrifuged when they arrive at the laboratory.
    Samples 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.