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How and where to send the samples

Please do not send any samples on a Saturday as this will mean that they will be kept at Royal Mail for a day before being posted.

To avoid having to freeze the samples and then freeze again once they reach us, we ask that all samples sent are sent on the day they were taken and ice packs are included to keep them as fresh as possible, we will then freeze when they reach us this end. If tissue samples are being sent, please put each sample in a re-sealable bag and then put all samples together in one bag.

We would ask that all samples sent are marked on the package "fresh samples - must freeze immediately on receipt". We would also ask that as the samples are being sent directly to the Higham Ferrers Veterinary Clinic, 3 College Street,

 Higham Ferrers, Northants NN10 8DX

Bags and serum tubes should be clearly labelled with fox ID so that the appropriate matching information can be located on the online form

A Study into the detection and genetic characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii in red foxes in the UK and association with behavioural changes

Over the course of the last few years we have observed a significant increase in foxes testing positive for Toxoplasmosis. In an attempt to establish the pattern of infection around the UK the National Fox Welfare Society in collaboration with (To be announced shortly) and Charly Taylor BVetMed MRCVS, Higham Ferrers Veterinary Clinic, are conducting a preliminary study to look for the presence of Toxoplasma antibodies in a sample of foxes and identify which strains of Toxoplasma gondii are present in the fox population. We would be very grateful if any organisation that deals with foxes would be willing to send fox blood and/or tissue samples to us when the clinical opportunity arises to collect such samples. Blood samples must ONLY be collected when the fox is already being blood sampled, by a veterinary surgeon or a veterinary nurse under the direction of a veterinary surgeon, for clinical reasons. A 1ml serum sample should be collected (in addition to any clinical samples) and sent to us in a plain blood tube. Tissues samples (lung, liver, kidney, brain) may be collected from any fox euthanased for clinical reasons or that has recently died. Please contact us for details of how to collect and store these samples. Please note that this is not a diagnostic service for toxoplasmosis and we will not be able to make available results from individual animals. The samples will however, contribute to vital research.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Charly Taylor, Higham Vets for this exciting opportunity that will hopefully give us all a clearer indication of the impact of Toxoplasmosis in the UK fox population. If any organisation that deals with foxes would be willing to send fox blood / tissue samples, please contact me as the more organisations we can get on board across the UK the better. Special thanks also to Dr Elizabeth Mullineaux BVM&S, DVM&S, CerSHP, MRCVS, RCVS Recognised Specialist in Wildlife Medicine (Mammalian) for her valuable input.

Please Note

When filling out the form and the name of the fox is entered, please ensure you put the initials of your org before the name of the fox on both the form and the blood / Tissue samples containers. We ask you do this in case we have duplicate names of foxes already sent in

Toxoplasmosis In the UK Fox Population Blood and Tissue Samples

National Fox Welfare Society

135 Higham Road, Rushden, Northants NN10 6DS

Phone: 01933 411996

Emergency: 07778 183954