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Rickettsia rickettsii (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) - Serology ​​

​​Information CategoryInformation Detail
Supplemental Information RequestedRequested: Travel history, symptoms, exposures (including animals, arthropods, etc), disease onset date, clinical summary, antibiotic therapy (drug name, dates of therapy)
Submittal FormSpecimens must be accompanied with a hard copy of the completed VRDL General Purpose Specimen Submittal Form or a form generated in the VRDL Lab Web Portal.
Methodology (Commercial Test Name or Laboratory Developed Test (LDT))IFA: IgG (Commercial Test)(Diagnostic)
Reflex TestingNone
Acceptable Specimen Type(s) and Collection Method

Human specimens:

  • Serum or whole blood: red top or red/gray top serum separator tubes
  • Plasma: EDTA (lavendar top) tube
Minimum Volume Requested
  • Serum: 1 mL w​hole blood in serum separator tubes: 5 mL
  • Plasma: 1 mL
Transport Medium (if using)Not Applicable
Specimen LabelingEach specimen tube must be labeled with at least two unique patient identifiers, e.g., patient full name and date of birth.
Storage & Preservation of Specimen / Shipping Conditions
  • Serum: freeze or refrigerate specimens after collection.
  • Whole blood: refrigerate specimens promptly after collection. Do not freeze whole blood.

Ship refrigerated specimens to VRDL on cold packs. Ship frozen specimens to VRDL on dry ice.

Shipping Instructions

Work with your local public health department to ensure samples are packaged according to instructions for Biological Substance – Category B (UN 3373) shipment.

Ship specimens and a hard copy of the completed submittal forms to:    


ATTN: Specimen Receiving

850 Marina Bay Parkway

Richmond, CA 94804

Phone: 510-307-8585

Turnaround Time10 Business Days

Negative result does not preclude the possibility of infection.

Cross reactivity with antibodies to other related bacteria can occur. This is particularly challenging as there may be similarities in antigens among different Rickettsia species or even unrelated bacteria.

Confirmatory testing such as PCR may be necessary for accurate diagnosis, especially in regions where different species coexist.

Additional InformationNone
VRDL Points of ContactMedical and Epidemiology Liaisons:​ (510) 307-8585 or
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