Rabies testing


What we do

The State Lab at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment  has a vital role in tracking rabies statewide by providing rapid test analysis of animals suspected of carrying the virus. Trained Serology Laboratory employees remove the brains from submitted animal heads to test brain material for the rabies virus.


If you are bitten by an animal, contact a medical provider or your local public health agency to determine the potential for rabies exposure, the need for treatment, and decide whether to test the animal for rabies.

Rabies testing update 

February 13, 2023

The State Lab is undergoing a renovation to upgrade testing and reporting processes that will temporarily impact rabies testing. The rabies laboratory will temporarily close from March 2023 until the first quarter of 2024. The final day to submit rabies specimens is Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Beginning March 3, 2023, submit all specimens requiring fee-for-service rabies testing directly to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (CSU-VDL). Clients are responsible for transporting or shipping their samples to the CSU veterinary facility. Refer to the CSU-VDL website for submission forms, testing fees ($65 for Rabies antigen FA), and further instructions. CSU-VDL may charge an additional fee for brain removal. Contact them directly for additional information. All billing and result reporting will come directly from CSU-VDL. CSU-VDL will also report results to CDPHE to fulfill public health surveillance reporting requirements. 

CDPHE expects our new space to be complete in the first quarter of 2024. For general questions or concerns about this process change, email the laboratory coordination team at cdphe_labcoordinators@state.co.us

If you are a local public health agency (LPHA) and have questions about a sample that may be eligible for fee-waived rabies testing, email the laboratory coordination team at cdphe_labcoordinators@state.co.us.


Contact information

Rabies Laboratory

Main Lab: 303-692-3299

Fax: 303-691-4911