Volume V3 | March 2020
Laboratory Diagnosticians' News Matters
AAVLD President Elect and 2020 Annual Meeting Program Chair Message
Dear AAVLD members and affiliates:
I hope you are enjoying the beginning of spring! The executive committee has been actively preparing for the 2020 AAVLD annual meeting. We are working with committee chairs and sponsors to plan for the following sessions: oral presentations, posters, exhibits, and pre-meeting symposia. We are trying our best to accommodate requests from committees and participating federal agencies. Abstract submission will open very soon.
Please start looking for interesting cases, summarizing your research data, and preparing abstracts for submission. For those of you who will be attending the meeting the first time, it is a great opportunity to learn current topics and technologies, expand your professional and social networks, and identity leadership roles in this important organization. You will also enjoy the exciting meeting venue – Nashville, one of the South’s best cities and the headquarters of country music. If you have suggestions on how to improve your meeting experience, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Zeman, our executive director and me.
The 2020 AAVLD plenary session will focus on “Pandemic and Emerging Diseases with Significant Negative Health and Economic Impacts”. We have secured speakers of national reputation for influenza virus and Streptococcus equi in swine; and are in discussion with potential speakers for COVID-19. With regards to the USAHA keynote session, we are working with the USAHA executive committee to finalize topics. We will keep you posted.

Best wishes,

Shuping Zhang
AAVLD President Elect and 2020 Annual Meeting Program Chair

  Executive Director’s Message

AAVLD USAHA Government Relations Meetings in DC = CANCELLED

Most of you know that each winter leadership from AAVLD and USAHA travel to Washington DC to meet with agency and legislative leaders to advocate for sound animal health and diagnostic policies and strategies. Unfortunately, just days before our travel this year the meetings were interrupted by national concerns regarding COVID-19. 
Many of our leaders were dealing with travel policy decisions mandated by their Universities or governmental agencies. In addition, there were significant concerns that once our teams arrived, agencies and congressional offices could be significantly limiting opportunities to meet face to face, and we could have found ourselves there with no one to meet with.  In short, the timing for our meeting (originally March 16 – 18) simply fell at a most inopportune time relative to the rapidly escalating national situation. 
However fortunately, we have been able to schedule many teleconferences and web-based meetings with key agency and allied leaders, and these will go on next Tuesday and Wednesday. So we will have opportunities to discuss important issues on your behalf, although in a shorter and less desirable format. AAVLD is very appreciative of the efforts of USAHA leadership and staff; their partnership once again has proven to be invaluable.

In a similar vein, the AAVLD accreditation committee is modifying their audit work schedule as needed. They will of course provide timely information to those impacted and any questions or concerns can be addressed directly to Cochairs Dave Kocal and Amy Swinford. 

I hope all of you and your circle of loved ones are safe and healthy, but realistically realize that many in our organization may be impacted by this pandemic. Wishing you all the best…

David Zeman, DVM, PhD, DACVP
AAVLD Executive Director
AAVLD President's Message

Dear AAVLD members:

With the country under national emergency due to COVID-19 and World Health Organization declaring pandemic, the current situation has brought us to a very challenging time in the human history. The COVID-19, scientifically referred to as SARS-Cov-2, belongs to family of coronaviruses. The COVID-19 is mainly transmitted among humans but virus is said to have originated from horseshoe bats, utilizing an intermediate host before jumping to humans.
Pets or domestic animals have not been yet shown to transmit COVID-19 to humans. There is thus far a single report of a dog in Hong Kong being infected at a very low level from an individual, but this animal so far has not shown seroconversion, when checked nearly a week after it was reported to be PCR positive. We are closely following these developments and preparing in case a response will be necessary for animals.
In general, the AAVLD labs are quite used to dealing with coronavirus infections in domestic animal species including in dogs, cats, poultry, equine, bovine and porcine. However, this new virus poses some diagnostic challenges due to its high infectivity for humans and asymptomatic infected individuals can shed and easily infect others. Great progress is being made in the AAVLD labs to deal with COVID-19. The AAVLD team has been hard at work in conjunction with our federal partners from NVSL (Dr Torchetti) and NAHLN (Dr Loiacono) as a part of COVID-19 workgroup. Kudos to Iowa (Dr Wang), Kansas (Dr Bai) and Cornell (Dr Goodman) in leading AAVLD’s effort for establishing testing for animals. I anticipate the workgroup and interest at labs will expand with time as we learn more about this virus.
Information about lab testing on human side can be found at the following link and more information will be available about testing for animals soon.

Testing at this point for COVID-19 in animals, when requested by veterinarians, should be discussed with the State Vet and Public health officials, and any positive results must be notified to appropriate authorities including at the state and federal level as COVID-19 is also reportable to the OIE.
Please stay healthy and safe,

Deep Tewari BVSc, PhD, DACVM
AAVLD President-2020

Accreditation Committee highlights from February 2020 meeting
Submitted by Amy Swinford and Dave Korcal, Co-Chairs of the Accreditation Committee
The Accreditation Committee held its winter meeting on February 4-5, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV. A training session for committee members was presented by Ms. Dawn Mettler of Rockbridge Laboratory Services, covering trends in auditing to the ISO17025:2017 standard, performing and auditing risk assessments, and comparisons of the ISO17025 standard to the AAVLD Requirements Standard 2021.
Following its business meeting, the Accreditation Committee conducted a full day of training on February 6, 2020 for Audit Pool members. Topics included seminars and workshops on site visit procedures, AAVLD Requirements (current and 2021 preview), customer complaints, auditing techniques, and writing non-conformances. The Audit Pool training is held each year in February and is open to all current AAVLD members with expertise in one or more laboratory disciplines, with approval of their laboratory directors to attend. We welcome all with an interest in learning more about quality assurance auditing in AAVLD labs, and invite you to consider attending in 2021. Look for the announcement about next year’s training in November of 2020.
Accreditation Committee Members
The Accreditation Committee recognized new co-chair, Dr. Amy Swinford, who was elected to replace outgoing co-chair Dr. Tim Baszler at the October 2019 meeting. Dr. Baszler served the full five-year limit as co-chair of the committee, and will continue serving as a committee member. Mr. David Korcal will continue in his role as co-chair of the committee. The Committee is currently composed of twenty members, with at least two members from each of the seven regions of AAVLD, as required by the Association by-laws. The Accreditation Committee has had an infusion of new members in recent years. Of the twenty current members, thirteen have served fewer than 10 years, and of those, eight members have served on the committee for fewer than 5 years. For a complete list of the Accreditation Committee members, click here.
Welcome, Dr. Henningson! (Photo below)
The Accreditation Committee would like to introduce its newest member, Dr. Jamie Henningson, director of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, who was approved unanimously, to fill a recent vacancy in Region 3. Jamie earned her DVM from Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine and did her graduate training at the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory focused on a vaccine candidate trial for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). She worked at the University of WI-Madison and the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA before enthusiastically returning to her alma mater as a diagnostic pathologist at KSVDL. Jamie is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and has been director of the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory since August 2017.
The process to become a member of the Accreditation Committee is detailed in SOP AC 4 V 2015-10, Accreditation Committee Management  (yes, the AC has its own SOPs, available for viewing by any AAVLD member on the AAVLD website!) The committee considers new members when regional vacancies and/or discipline expertise needs arise. New members are nominated from the ranks of the active Audit Pool (AAVLD members in good standing who have successfully completed Audit Pool training), have audited on AAVLD site visits, and are approved by majority vote of the Accreditation Committee.
Effective March 13, 2020
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to give general guidance to the organization and individuals performing organizational work, whether volunteers or employees.

Personal:  Since healthcare decisions are personal decisions, the final decision and liability on how to react to a particular circumstance rests with the individual and the advice they obtain from their personal physicians and human health care experts.

Travel:  AAVLD travel decisions will take into consideration personal concerns as well as the desire to perform important tasks for the organization. In some instances, the decision to travel or not will be determined by the individual’s primary employer and their policies. In some instances, the decision will be determined by public health official’s recommendations. For AAVLD employees, the Executive Director and the Executive Board may impose restrictions.  Personal decisions will not be over-ridden.

Cancellation of Activities or Events:  The decision to cancel activities and events shall be determined mutually by the event organizers (often committee members), the AAVLD Executive Board and Executive Director. Where applicable, cosponsors of events such as the annual meeting (USAHA) will be involved with the decision. 
Where are they today?
Dr. Marie (Gramer) Culhane
Dr. Marie (Gramer) Culhane left the U of MN VDL in 2015 to pursue research regarding influenza A viurses of swine and turkeys and also extension and outreach re: HPAI, FMD, ASF and CSF preparedness and response with colleagues at the U of MN College of Veterinary Medicine in the Veterinary Population Medicine Department. 
Where are they today?
Dr. Marie (Gramer) Culhane was the 2002 AAVLD Best student presentation awardee for her paper on “Detection of Influenza A virus in clinical samples by TaqMan reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction” with co-authors K.S. Faaberg, K.D. Rossow, J.E. Collins, S.M. Goyal and C.E. Mahlum. She completed a pathology residency and her PhD in infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota (UMinn) in 2007. Dr. Culhane joined the UMinn faculty in 2003 and today is a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine and active in the Swine Program ( https://vetmed.umn.edu/centers-programs/swine-program ) and the Secure Food Systems team ( http://securefoodsystems.umn.edu/ ) at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine ( https://experts.umn.edu/en/persons/marie-r-culhane )
Who introduced you to AAVLD?
Dr. Jim Collins, the director of the UMN VDL from 1993 to 2015, introduced me to AAVLD and strongly encouraged not only my attendance at the annual meeting but active participation in the organization.
Were you active in regional AAVLD activities?
From 2000 to 2010 I was very active in Midwest regional AAVLD activities.
Did your training program provide travel funds for you to attend the national meeting? 
My training program and college were always very generous with supporting travel to the meetings. I rarely needed a travel grant.
Have you encouraged other students to attend meetings or become involved in AAVLD? Do you have suggestions for other members on how to involve their students in AAVLD?
I encourage students to not only attend but also to submit cases and posters. I suggest members make the first year attendees travel arrangements for them and travel with them. Also introducing the new members and new students to as many people as you can is very beneficial. 
Was your first experience attending a national meeting a good one?
Yes, I enjoyed all the AAVLD meetings I attended. They are always full of great information and rigorous science.
  Do you think AAVLD today is meeting the needs of student attendees? Do you have suggestions to improve their experience?
I have not been an active member of the AAVLD since 2010. Prior to that, I agree, the AAVLD met the student needs. Suggestions would be to continue to fund young scientist travel awards, resident travel awards.
JVDI In Focus

The goal of JVDI in Focus is to bring attention to an interesting article appearing in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation . This month’s focus is on an article in the upcoming March issue:

“Interlaboratory comparison of heavy metal testing in animal diagnostic specimens and feed using inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry” by Steven McGeehan, Timothy Baszler, Cynthia Gaskill, Joseph Johnson, Lori Smith, Merl Raisbeck, Nick Schrier, Heather Harris, and Patricia Talcott.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2020;32(2)

Abstract. We compared inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) test results for the analysis of heavy metals (As, Ba, Cd, Hg, Pb, and Se) in pet foods and routine veterinary diagnostic specimens using intralaboratory and interlaboratory comparisons. Four laboratories, 1 principal laboratory and 3 collaborating laboratories, conducted instrument comparison (limit of detection [LOD], limit of quantification [LOQ], and linear dynamic range [LDR] on 24 data sets), in-house method comparison (accuracy and precision on 120 data sets), and interlaboratory comparison (reproducibility on 528 data sets using Horwitz equation analysis). Matrices tested included 2 types of pet food jerky treats (chicken and sweet potato), bovine blood, and bovine liver and kidney. The instrument comparison study confirmed that ICP-MS provided the sensitivity necessary for the analysis of all heavy metals tested at concentrations below the level of concern for routine diagnostic testing. The “in-house” method comparison samples, spiked at low (0.04 μg/g), medium (0.4 μg/g), and high (8.0 μg/g; note: the high validation level spike for mercury was 2 μg/g) concentration levels, indicated that ICP-MS can meet U.S. FDA acceptance criteria for both accuracy (90–105% recovery) and precision (<6% coefficient of variation). The interlaboratory comparison studies showed that ICP-MS is a reproducible method for the analysis of heavy metals (HorRat value of 0.5–2.0) except for mercury in one laboratory, which used a different sample preparation method (open block rather than microwave digestion). Overall, our study showed that ICP-MS is a reproducible method for the analysis of heavy metals in spite of minor differences in methodology.
“Nashville Here We Come”
Ben Richey, Kelly Janicek, Kaylin Taylor and David Zeman recently did a premeeting walk-through the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in preparation for our fall annual meeting.
AAVLD Membership Drive Competition – Earn a Free Lunch for yourself or your Lab!!
Come and enjoy the meeting in this fantastic hotel in Nashville!

Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

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AAVLD Members in the News
REB # 19-09-014
Worth Quoting
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.
Albert Einstein

Editor's Note: perhaps this applies not only to peace among nations but also to peace of mind.
AAVLD Job Board
AAVLD offers its members a low cost web-based career center that connects job seekers with prospective employers in the veterinary diagnostic laboratory industry. The job board, powered by career services leader JobTarget, provides access to AAVLD members and non-members alike. The cost is $75 for a 90-day posting.
Take advantage of the terrific AAVLD resources offered to our members.
Veterinary Jobs - American Association of Veterinary...

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians offers the top jobs available in Veterinary diagnostic labs. Search and apply to open positions or post jobs on the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians now.

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Contact Reda ( [email protected] )
2020 Membership Dues are now Past Due and Next Year's renewals due by November 15!
'Membership is January to December'
AAVLD membership is open to any individual interested in the disciplines and activities of veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Membership terms are by calendar year (January-December) and membership dues are payable by November 15th of the preceding year (to ensure inclusion in the annual membership directory, eligibility for committee involvement, and receipt of all six issues of the JVDI). Note: In order to receive a discounted rate for the Annual Meeting registration, you are required to be a current AAVLD Member. Renew your membership today!
Did your membership Lapse?
Please select 'Renew Now' to access the Lapsed Membership renewal form. www.aavld.org ->Quick Links->Renew Now->here you can access the Lapsed Membership Form.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding AAVLD Membership:
When are my dues due? 
They are due November 15 for the next calendar year. Many members pay for the next year when they register for the annual meeting. Lead time is needed to finalize committee appointments for the new year.
Does it matter who pays for my dues?
No. Your status will be the same with their resepective privileges whether you pay, your employer pays, or your Uncle Vinny.
Are Lab Accreditation dues different than Institutional/Agency membership dues?
  • Laboratory Accreditation dues are different and separate and are related to accreditation only and go to fund the accreditation program only.
  • Whether accredited or not, a Laboratory (or Institution/Agency) may additionally become an Institutional/Agency Member. By doing so they are supporting the broad mission of the AAVLD and these funds go to support CE and training and all other activities of the AAVLD. Institutional/Agency Members are highly valued members and are demonstrating leadership and belief in our organizational purpose. 
Do Institutional/Agency Member labs have to pay for their employees individual dues?
No. A laboratory, institution, agency or department can become a member under this category even without signing up their employees. They are simply supporting the AAVLD mission with their dues payment. Some states are not allowed to pay for employee dues; and some states have budgetary restrictions.
Make a difference
Committee work is the foundation of AAVLD's ability to fulfill its mission. If you are interested in joining a committee and contributing to its efforts, please email the appropriate committee chair.
AAVLD & News worthy Events
Upcoming Events

  • Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Annual Meeting, June 1-3, 2020

  • AVMA Convention 2020, July 31 – August 4, San Diego

  • AAVLD/USAHA Annual Meeting, October 15-21, 2020, Nashville Details

2020 CAHLN Annual Meeting

19th CAHLN Annual Meeting "One Health Perspectives on Emerging Disease and Antimicrobial Resistance" Dear Colleagues, It is with great pleasure that we invite you to the 19th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Network...

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AVMA Convention

AVMA Convention 2020 has something for every background and interest. Everyone is welcome-it's your convention and it's Powered By You! Gain an educational edge through best-in-class CE, including hands-on labs and workshops, panels, and lectures ...

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Dear Veterinary Professional,
The American Veterinary Medical Association is excited to host the AVMA Convention 2020, July 31 ̶ August 4 in San Diego. You are invited to meet in conjunction with the AVMA Convention! Meeting space is available for business meetings, luncheons, receptions and dinners. No educational or scientific programming may be scheduled during the official AVMA educational program time block, which is listed below. Groups may provide educational programming on days prior to or after the AVMA convention dates, or earlier or later on days when there is AVMA programming in the convention center.
Friday, July 31 ̶ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday, August 1 ̶ 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday, August 2 ̶ 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday, August 3 ̶ 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday, August 4 ̶ 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Thank You to our Exhibitors and Sponsors of the 62 nd Annual Meeting!
The generous contributions and participation by our Exhibitors and Sponsors is a huge part of our conference success year after year. On behalf of the AAVLD, we would like to thank these companies for their commitment to our organization and helping us to achieve our mission.
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

© 2015, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

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Pathogens, an international, peer-reviewed Open Access journal.

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Enhancing the health and well-being of pets, people, and livestock.

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Veterinary Medical Research & Development - VMRD

VMRD Products The VMRD portfolio is the most comprehensive in veterinary diagnostics and has a wide range of products that include USDA-licensed ELISA kits, FA reagents, antibodies, and Coombs testing reagents. Our IFA reagents support...

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The Clark Enersen Partners SCIENCE

Yesterday The Clark Enersen Partners broke ground with our Colorado State University partners for the Johnson Family Equine Hospital. This 85,000 SF complex will open in 2021 as one of the top equine-focused facilities in the nation. The buildin...

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Zoetis, the largest global animal health company

Zoetis.com uses cookies to improve your experience when browsing our website. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to their use. To find out more, view our cookie policy as well as our privacy policy .

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INDICAL is a leader in molecular diagnostics for vet-specific applications. We provide solutions for diagnostic workflows, the protocols for their use, and the support that empowers our customers every day.

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Thermo Fisher Scientific - US

Thermo Fisher Scientific is dedicated to improving the human condition through systems, consumables, and services for researchers.

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Tetracore: Providing advanced solutions for your...

Tetracore is a biotechnology R&D and product company whose mission is to create and develop highly innovative diagnostic reagents and assays for infectious diseases and bio-terrorism threat agents such as anthrax (b. anthracis), ricin, SEB. We...

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AAVLD Foundation Committee

Brett Webb-Cochair
Francois Elvinger- Cochair
John M. Adaska
Donal O'Toole
Tim Baszler
David Zeman
Christie Mayo
Kristy Pabilonia
Beate Crossley
François Elvinger
Pat Halbur
Brett Webb
Jamie Henningson
Kerry Sondgeroth
Foundation Donation
The AAVLD Foundation is a non-profit foundation that raises funds for the advancement of veterinary diagnostic laboratory disciplines through scholarship programs, student travel support to our scientific meeting, guest lectures, seminars, professional awards and research programs. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible 501(c)(3), and can be paid when you renew your AAVLD membership. Thank you for remembering your AAVLD Foundation!