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Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory (AHDL)

Expertise

The AHDL consists of three laboratories supporting five diagnostic areas:

  • Viral serology: THE AHDL has the capability to detect viral and mycoplasmal antibody utilizing traditional and modern techniques, including MFIA, ELISA, and IFA tests. The AHDL utilizes an independent commercial laboratory for confirmation of unusual test results.

  • Bacteriology: Several culture methods are employed to identify pathogenic organisms appropriate to the animal species. The laboratory has the capabilities to provide more sophisticated culture techniques for clinical cases, including anaerobic and special gas environments, phase microscopy, and serological typing.

  • Parasitology: Both direct examination of the animal and microscopic examination of hair, anal tapes, fecal floats, and intestinal scrapings for the presence of ecto- and endoparasites are employed.

  • Molecular diagnostics: The AHDL/AMDL laboratory has developed and validated PCR-based assays for a number of murine viral and bacterial pathogens. Currently, the PCR-based assays are utilized in conjunction with traditionally based assays. This allows the AHDL to utilize two independent approaches to health monitoring. New assays for various rodent pathogens are constantly being developed and enhanced.

  • Necropsy: Necropsy of small species (i.e., rodents, etc.) for routine and clinical health evaluations are conducted. Necropsies involve the direct examination and collection of various materials for serological, bacteriological, parasitological, and molecular tests as outlined above. Examination and collection of various tissues and organs for histopathological evidence of disease are supported by the Pathology/Histotechnology Laboratory, which has the capabilities of H&E, special, and IFA stains. Clinical and other cases which require immediate attention are given priority and are rapidly reported with verbal and faxed communication.