Sending blood

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 (currently, FedEx is the only recommended courier) should be booked the day before the blood is drawn, so the sample can be sent as soon as possible.

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

For up to 1-3 metals, send 18 ml of blood. This means 4 x 4.5 ml tubes or 2 x 9 ml tubes.
For 4-6 metals, send 36 ml of blood. This means 8 x 4.5 ml tubes or 4 x 9 ml tubes.
For 7-10 metals, send 45 ml of blood. This means 10 x 4.5 ml tubes or 4 x 9 ml tubes.
For 11 to 15 metals, send 54 ml of blood. This means 12 x 4.5 ml tubes or 6 x 9 ml tubes.
For 16 to 20 metals, send 63 ml of blood. This means 14 x 4.5 ml tubes or 7 x 9 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.

Include a request form

Include a request form clearly stating which panel/substances are required for testing. Every laboratory will have its own test order form and prices may vary, but generally they are the same within Europe. Some insurance companies may reimburse the cost of the test so it is worth checking with the insurer. Below is an example of a test request form, with the suggested panels that can be tested. It is also possible to test for a limited number of chemicals, drugs and infectious agents such as Candida and Borrelia (Lyme disease). For more information email [email protected]

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.