Find The Agent: FTA cards


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An FTA card is a chemically treated filter paper designed for the collection, preservation and shipment of biological samples for subsequent DNA and RNA analysis. Special chemicals lyse and inactivate bacteria and viruses and preserve their DNA and RNA for detection by PCR.

Are you looking for a laboratory which:

  • Can receive samples from all over the world?
  • Provides you with independent and reliable results?
  • Offers you a large range of PCR tests? 
  • Offers you the possibility of sequencing / genotyping?
  • Offers you not only a result, but can also offer veterinary advice?

Choose the new diagnostics line: Find The Agent.

Instruction video

Benefits FTA cards

Submitting samples on FTA cards is easy and fast and samples can be submitted to our laboratory from any country. The main benefits of using FTA cards are:

  • no risk for spreading infectious agents due to the chemicals included;
  • no import permit is needed;
  • transportation at room temperature;
  • submitting samples via regular post;
  • low transportation costs.

Sampling and pretreatment

Collection, shipment and storage of biological samples when using FTA cards is very convenient. FTA chemistry has been optimized to lyse cells and denature proteins upon application of the biological sample onto the card to protect nucleic acids from nucleases, oxidation and UV damage. After drying, the released nucleic acids remain immobilized in the fibres of the matrix and are preserved for transport and later processing.


The FTA cards can be used with various materials, swabs, tissue or blood (one spot can capture 125 μl whole blood) and can be ordered at GD Animal Health. Samples on FTA cards can only be tested with molecular diagnostic methods like PCR and sequencing. FTA cards cannot be used to culture bacteria or viruses.

Applying samples

  • Always wear gloves when handling the FTA cards to avoid contamination. Please label each FTA card with a card identification.
  • To obtain sufficient material for testing, put a few drops of blood onto the FTA card or press the inside of cut slice of the tissue or the swab firmly onto the FTA card. Where material is present on the FTA card, the color indicator in the card will turn from pink to white.
  • Allow the samples to dry at room temperature and normal humidity. Store unused cards in a dry and cool place.
  • Before submitting the FTA card(s), please make sure you put the dried samples through a microwave treatment. FTA cards should be heated for twenty seconds at 900 watt.

Submitting FTA cards

FTA cards can be submitted by regular mail. The only document you should include is a GD submission form on which you can clarify the identification of the samples, mark the required analysis and choose if you want the spots on an FTA card tested individually or tested as pool. All submission forms are available online. Please make sure to sign the submission form.


Royal GD
Attn. Lab Logistics
Rigastraat 25
7418 EW Deventer
The Netherlands


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via +31 (0)88 20 25 575 or by email.

Contact us

T. +31 (0)88 20 25 575

Available tests

Download FTA flyer

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