Volume V4 | April 2020
Laboratory Diagnosticians' News Matters
AAVLD President Message
 Dear AAVLD Members,
These are unprecedented times and AAVLD members, staff, and leaders are doing an excellent job that makes me feel proud.
In March, USAHA and AAVLD leaders met virtually for the annual Government Relations Committee meeting with the government agencies, including United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to discuss important issues impacting the two organizations and the membership on March 16 th and 17 th , 2020. Also, on Monday, March 23, 2020, the AAVLD taskforce on COVID-19 met for the first time to discuss a Position Statement and highlight perspectives related to COVID-19 testing for all laboratories. The COVID-19 resource page was born soon after to inform membership about important developments impacting AAVLD members and the task force continues to meet as needed to address important issues.
Many AAVLD laboratories have responded as requested in a variety ways relative to the COVID-19 outbreak; some by testing animals and others by participating in human testing and/or support activities, and the list continues to grow.

Our members and many AAVLD labs have recently been in news media with COVID-19. You will find a smattering of this information in a collection compiled by Dr. Zeman for this newsletter. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) COVID-19 workgroup involves members from many of our labs and continues to address COVID-19 testing issues and technical aspects of assays. I am thankful to AAVLD technical committee members and co-chairs, who are providing guidance to the group as subject matter experts.
Funding of AAVLD labs remains our top priority as we continue to highlight-a strong laboratory infrastructure, which is key for defeating any disease and is very evident with the COVID-19 situation. Congress recently passed a massive relief package to address the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic also referred as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are very actively engaged in conversations with the AVMA, Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), USDA, and FDA regarding future lab funding because of the involvement of AAVLD laboratories during the COVID-19 response; not only to support testing for human and or animals but also to ensure business continuity of agricultural production businesses and to ensure food security.
I applaud every lab and lab member within AAVLD that all veterinary diagnostic laboratories remain open and are providing essential services in each state. It is for every member to realize that our efforts and work are more important than ever, while we fight this pandemic together and we will get over it soon. I do also want to share that program planning for the October AAVLD annual meeting is progressing on schedule but with a close eye on the current situation. I would encourage everyone to keep the annual meeting in your fall plans and we will keep you posted as we look at how we intend to convene the meeting safely.  
I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with you and am very proud of belonging to an organization that is making a difference in everyone’s life during these difficult times.
Stay Safe,
Deepanker Tewari BVSc, PhD (Cantab) DACVM
AAVLD President 2020

Call for Abstracts and Applications for Awards
63 rd Annual AAVLD Meeting
October 15-21, 2020 Nashville, Tennessee
Abstract Submission

Deadline is May 31, 2020 for all abstracts.

Thank you for considering submitting an abstract for presentation of your work at the 2020 AAVLD Annual Meeting. According to a recent member survey, the quality of presentations in the Scientific Oral and Poster Sessions is the single most important reason for attending the AAVLD Annual Meeting.
Submit your abstracts EARLY!

Clarivate Analytics ScholarOne is the official AAVLD provider of online abstract submission and management services. If you are a current AAVLD member and have previously submitted an abstract, you can submit your abstract for the 2020 meeting by logging in to the AAVLD 2020 Abstract Submission Site with your User ID and Password. For non-members, or if you did not receive an email from ScholarOne containing your User ID and Password, follow the instructions on the website for creating a new account. After login, follow the online instructions to submit your abstract.
Publication in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (JVDI), the official journal of the AAVLD :

We encourage submission of manuscripts to the JVDI based on your oral and poster presentations at the annual meeting. Manuscripts accepted by the JVDI editor after scientific peer-review will be published as refereed journal articles. Guidelines for format and style of manuscripts are published in the journal and on the AAVLD website ( www.aavld.org ). Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts to the editor for processing prior to the meeting if possible.
AAVLD Annual Awards

All award applicants must be the individual identified in the ScholarOne submission platform as the primary contact for the abstract.
The AAVLD is soliciting applications for the following AAVLD Awards:
AAVLD Trainee Travel Awards Trainees in a Master's, PhD or residency program enrolled in all disciplines in veterinary diagnostic medicine, including epidemiology, immunology, microbiology (bacteriology, food safety, mycology and virology), molecular diagnostics, parasitology, pathology and toxicology, are encouraged to apply. 
The $1,750 travel awards are intended to help defray the cost of travel and lodging to attend the AAVLD meeting. The Trainee Travel Awards are funded by the AAVLD Foundation and are intended to fulfill the recruitment and education mission of the AAVLD Foundation by encouraging trainee excellence in their diagnostic discipline, developing trainee presentation skills (verbal, written, organizational) and promoting networking of trainees with veterinary laboratory diagnosticians. NOTE: Some travel awards are funded or co-funded by individual AAVLD Committees.  The AAVLD Pathology Committee is contributing $500 each to three of the top pathology related abstracts submitted. 
AAVLD Laboratory Staff Travel Awards Veterinary diagnostic laboratory staff in any discipline, including epidemiology, immunology, microbiology (bacteriology, food safety, mycology and virology), molecular diagnostics, parasitology, pathology and toxicology, are encouraged to apply.
The $1,750 travel awards are intended to help defray the cost of travel and lodging to attend the AAVLD Annual Meeting. The Laboratory Staff Travel Awards are funded by the AAVLD Foundation. Laboratory staff travel awards to the AAVLD Annual Meeting are intended to encourage laboratory staff excellence in their diagnostic discipline, promote networking of veterinary laboratorians and encourage participation in AAVLD committees.
AAVLD/ACVM Dr. David Bemis Microbiology Trainee Travel Award (oral or poster presentation): This $1,750 travel award will go to a graduate student or microbiology resident trainee submitting an abstract to the annual meeting on the subject of clinical microbiology and/or antimicrobial resistance. This is a competitive award and the winner will be determined based upon the quality of the abstract.
AAVLD Best Graduate Student Presentation Awards (oral and poster presentations): The AAVLD encourages trainees in all disciplines of veterinary diagnostic medicine to compete for the best oral and best poster presentation awards. The purpose of the awards is to encourage trainee excellence in their diagnostic discipline and to develop trainee presentation skills (verbal, written, organizational).
Two winners will be selected, and the awards given during the AAVLD Annual Meeting, one for best oral presentation and one for best poster presentation. The recipient of each award will receive a $1000 cash prize. The AAVLD Awards Committee will select the awardees and they will be announced during the joint AAVLD/USAHA President's Reception and Dinner during the annual meeting.
AAVLD Laboratory Staff Presentation Award (oral or poster presentations): The AAVLD encourages lab staff in all disciplines of veterinary diagnostic medicine to apply. The purpose of the awards is to encourage laboratory staff excellence in their diagnostic discipline and to develop presentation skills (verbal, written, organizational).
One award will be selected and given for best presentation (oral or poster) during the AAVLD Annual Meeting. The recipient will receive a $500 cash prize. The AAVLD Awards Committee will select the awardee and they will be announced during the joint AAVLD/USAHA President's Reception and Dinner during the annual meeting.
J. Lindsay Oaks Best Student Molecular Biology Presentation Award (oral or poster presentation): The AAVLD invites interested trainees to submit oral or poster presentations relating to molecular biology in veterinary diagnostics. This award for an amount up to $500 is given to the student delivering the best oral or poster presentation on a molecular biology topic at the AAVLD annual meeting. All molecular biology oral and poster trainee presenters are eligible.
Richard Walker Best Student Bacteriology Presentation A ward (oral presentation) : The AAVLD Bacteriology Committee invites interested trainees to submit an oral presentation relating to bacteriology in veterinary diagnostics. This competitive award is for an amount up to $500 and is given to the winning student delivering the best oral presentation on a bacteriology topic at the AAVLD annual CE meeting. All bacteriology oral presentation trainee presenters are eligible.
Brenda Love Best Student Bacteriology Poster Award (poster presentations): The AAVLD invites interested trainees to submit poster presentations relating to bacteriology in veterinary diagnostics. This award for an amount up to $500 is given to the student delivering the best poster presentation on a bacteriology topic at the AAVLD a nnual CE meeting. All bacteriology poster trainee presenters are eligible to apply.
AAVLD Diagnostic Pathology Slide Seminar Awards (slide seminar presentation): This competition has a separate open and close date for submission. Abstract submission opens April 16 th and closes July 31 st . The AAVLD Pathology Committee is providing awards to the top 3 presenters at this seminar. First, Second and Third Place awards will be $300, $200 and $100 respectively. These presentations will not be in the proceedings book because they will be determined based on the presentations during the annual meeting. .Submission and award selection will be coordinated by the AAVLD Pathology Committee. 
AAVLD /ACVP Diagnostic Pathology Award for Residents/Graduate Students The AAVLD and the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP) encourage trainees in veterinary pathology to participate in the annual meetings of both organizations. The AAVLD/ACVP Diagnostic Pathology Award for Residents/Graduate Students will be presented to a graduate student and/or veterinary pathology resident for the best oral presentation, in the field of veterinary pathology, given at the annual AAVLD meeting. The intention is to support travel of the winner to re-present the award-winning presentation at the next annual ACVP meeting. ACVP has a reciprocal award. 
·       The awardee will receive $1,000 from the AAVLD pathology committee to help defray travel and lodging costs associated with attending the ACVP annual meeting of the following year. The award winner must present the award-winning presentation at the ACVP meeting of the following year in order to receive the award. The award will be given to award winner following submission of the abstract to the ACVP meeting.

      The recipient will be granted a waiver for the ACVP meeting registration fee.
Abstract submission and award information is available on the aavld2020.abstractcentral.com submission site. Please click on the following link to access the site
and follow the instructions. You may also access this information on the AAVLD website at https://www.aavld.org/aavld-usaha-annual-meeting and click the "Awards Page" tab.
AAVLD Abstract Submission Style Rules

·       Type or copy and paste the title and body of your abstract into the boxes below.

·       Enter the title in sentence case (mixed case). Do not put the title in quotation marks.

·        Special characters: in most cases, Greek letters and other special characters will transfer from your word processing software. The Special Character Palette button is available in the formatting bar if you need a special character that are unable to find in your word processor.

·       There is a limit of 3000 characters (approximately 400 words), including spaces, for the text of your submission. Title, authors, and institutions will not be counted.

·        Please ensure you check your abstract carefully for any spelling or grammar errors. Also make sure that no author information is included with the title or narrative section, as that is collected elsewhere on the form.

·       Press the “Save” button at any time to review character usage for this submission.

Shuping Zhang, BVSc. MS, PhD, DACVM
2020 AAVLD Annual Meeting Program Chair
AAVLD Labs Engaged with Coronavirus Pandemic Response
By DH Zeman

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its march across the USA, several AAVLD animal health laboratories have been engaged in a variety of ways in the battle to manage this outbreak. These are unprecedented times, and therefore unprecedented opportunities to serve have been presented to the diagnostic scientists and leaders in our animal health laboratories. 
The stories we are hearing include supplying diagnostic supplies, equipment and viral transport media to public health laboratories, performing tests on animals in high risk situations such as companion pets in nursing homes, and performing testing on human specimens via special authorization by state and federal officials. AAVLD leaders are not surprised by the capabilities, commitment and dedication to these efforts by our members… we have seen it before applied to devastating animal health outbreaks. Thank you veterinary laboratory diagnosticians for stepping up and serving in such an outstanding fashion! Some stories below tell more…excerpted with permission from a variety of original sources: 
OSU Diagnostic Laboratory
Health care providers who would like to submit samples to be tested can find step-by-step instructions and necessary forms on this page.

Individuals must go to a health care provider or mobile test station to have a sample taken.

The OSU Diagnostic Laboratory is a partnership between OSU Medicine in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (OADDL) in Stillwater. The OSU Diagnostic Laboratory is housed in the OADDL building on the Stillwater campus.

Thanks to the partnership with OSU Medicine, the lab has become CLIA certified to conduct human diagnostic testing. Currently, human testing is specific to the COVID-19 virus.

How to submit samples to the OSU Diagnostic Laboratory

  1. Download the requisition form. This form must be included with each sample. We accept all swab and transport media approved by the CDC.
  2. Contact the OSU Diagnostic Laboratory Business Office at (918) 561-1894 or at covid19testing@okstate.educovid19testing@okstate.edu to schedule a pick-up of samples by our courier company.
  3. If you are a provider and are geographically close to Stillwater, you can deliver samples directly to the OSU Diagnostic Laboratory during business hours of 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. However, please contact the business office at the information above and you will be provided further details regarding sample drop-off.
  4. Upon receipt from the courier, samples will be tested within approximately 24 hours. (If future exigencies create delays, we will update this timeframe). All test results will be reported through the PHIDDO system and all patient results will be sent to their health care provider via encrypted email. If an email is unavailable, results will be faxed to health care providers at the number indicated on the requisition form, but may cause up to a 24 hour delay in receipt of results.
  5. Upon receipt of results, the Fact Sheet for Providers and Fact Sheet for Patients can be found under the “FAQs and Test Fact Sheet” link. The Fact Sheet for Patients must be provided to all patients tested with the assay (TaqPath™️ COVID-19 Combo Kit) used by Oklahoma State University Diagnostic Laboratory. This is the Providers responsibility.
Links to other stories regarding OSU efforts:

ISU-UI collaboration accelerates testing of COVID-19 samples
Posted Mar 26, 2020 2:15 pm
Iowa State's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is sharing its extraction techniques and tools to expand testing capacity at the State Hygienic Laboratory. 
AMES, Iowa – In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Iowa State University’s  Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory  is helping expand testing capacity to expedite test results at the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa.

The collaboration between the two labs has significantly increased the hygienic lab’s ability to run more tests simultaneously. Rodger Main, director of operations for the diagnostic laboratory at Iowa State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, says the VDL shared its extraction techniques, instrumentation and the reagents needed for analysis.

Iowa State’s VDL provides state-of-the art molecular diagnostic assays that detect infectious agents of livestock, poultry and pets. It processes upwards of 90,000 cases each year and conducts more than 1.25 million tests annually to ensure the safety of the country’s food supply. Dr. Karen Harmon, clinical associate professor in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, says the hygienic lab is now able to run a significantly greater volume of tests.

“This means the hygienic lab is in a much better position to ramp up testing as needed,” Harmon said. “To have the opportunity to help a human testing lab in this way has been very rewarding for us.”  

VDL Executive Director Pat Halbur says the lab is often at the forefront of diagnosing emerging diseases in veterinary medicine, and this is a natural opportunity to utilize the same tools and techniques for human medicine.

“It’s our mission to protect animal and public health, and we want to do everything we can to assist during this global pandemic,” Halbur said. “This is a good example of Iowans coming together to find solutions to our most pressing problems.”

The collaboration between VDL and the hygienic lab was facilitated by leaders in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

"We're incredibly grateful to Governor Reynolds, IEDA and Iowa State for helping us supplement our equipment inventory," said Mike Pentella, director of the State Hygienic Laboratory. "With our staff working around the clock, this will allow us to deliver results for more tests more quickly, allowing for the best possible outcomes for Iowans."

WSU laboratory begins limited testing for COVID‑19 virus
April 1, 2020
WADDL's laboratory where testing will occur.
PULLMAN, Wash. — The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL), on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, has begun limited testing of animal samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent for COVID-19.
Currently, the test is only available for agencies and academic institutions. The current testing was not developed with, and does not use, human health testing resources. No additional personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for the testing program as designed in a coordinated effort with the nation’s animal disease diagnostic laboratories.
So far WADDL has tested two cats. Both results were negative for the COVID-19 virus.
The first was a cat necropsied and tested at the request of another state’s agency that lived with a human diagnosed with COVID-19. This cat’s death was unrelated to the COVID-19 virus. Necropsy revealed the animal had a common feline heart disease that causes abnormal thickening of the organ’s walls (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). When this condition occurs, the heart labors to pump blood easily and eventually fails. WADDL tested 23 tissues and the cat’s feces. All tests were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by testing known as real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which was specifically developed for the project by WSU.
The second case tested at the request of a state agency is a cat that is living with no signs or symptoms of disease. The cat was quarantined with its owner who was diagnosed with COVID-19. Nasal and throat swabs from this cat tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR; similar results were obtained from USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) with further tests pending.
WADDL developed and validated the specific laboratory test at the request of federal, state, and county animal and public health agencies. WADDL is assisting in the response to this disease by testing certain animals upon request of agencies responding to the emergency.
A second and perhaps more important goal for the current WADDL testing is to begin collecting valuable scientific data for further study especially if animals are determined to be carriers for SARS-CoV-2.
The question of infection in animals is important because in a study done in 2003 with the previous SARS outbreak, domestic cats and ferrets could be infected with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus and could pass it to other cats and ferrets. Disease experts would like to know if this is a possibility for the current virus causing COVID-19, which has added to the reasoning for testing pets for agencies by WADDL.
The WADDL test identifies the COVID-19 virus without cross-reacting with other common, naturally occurring respiratory viruses in dogs and cats. Coronaviruses, named for the crown-like spikes found on their surface, carry their genetic material in single strands of RNA (rather than DNA).
The WADDL test uses a technique called a real time polymerase chain reaction test (real time PCR) to detect the presence of a unique fingerprint of COVID-19 virus RNA. The process transforms very small quantities of the RNA from the virus into very large amounts of DNA which can then be easily detected using specialized equipment. WADDL also performs targeted genetic sequencing to verify the real time PCR results and further increase the accuracy of the overall testing plan.
Testing first involves securely collecting swabs from around the external openings of the animal’s nose and from the back of the mouth near the throat by qualified veterinarians as approved by the State Veterinarian. Once securely collected, samples are securely packaged according to federal regulations for biological materials shipment and transported to WADDL. Testing currently is done twice weekly however WADDL has the capacity to scale up if necessary, potentially even turning emergency sample results within two hours.
The testing plan, real time PCR and targeted genetic sequencing, will accurately identify COVID-19 virus genetic material, but does not determine whether or not the virus is alive.
WADDL is a Level 1 laboratory in the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and any animals identified positive for SARS-CoV-2 by WADDL will be confirmed by the USDA-NAHLN national reference laboratory. Positive results for SARS-CoV-2 in animals will be reported to the submitting party and the State Veterinarian where submitting party resides since any COVID-19 virus identified in animals is reportable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In this way, information regarding any COVID-19 virus identified in animals can be shared around the world for combatting the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Media contact:
Charlie Powell, WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, 509-335-7073, Charlie_powell@wsu.edu
Source: Washington State University 
To read about WADDL’s Director Dr. Tim Baszler’s interview by Science Magazine, go to:
Aggie Veterinary Labs Distributing 2,000 COVID-19 Sampling Kits
The FDA-compliant swab kits will be donated to hospitals across the state.
By Texas A&M University System APRIL 2, 2020
Viral sampling kits from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory are being repurposed to test for COVID-19 in humans. The kits are being sent to hospitals throughout the state.
Texas A&M University System
More than 2,000 COVID-19 sampling kits will soon be on their way to hospitals across the state, thanks to Aggie innovation and ingenuity.

Viral sampling kits — usually used on pigs, cows and chickens — are being repurposed to test humans by the  Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory  in College Station. The sampling kits are being assembled from lab supplies already in stock at TVMDL’s four labs across the state.

Once assembled, they will be shipped to hospitals in cities with a Texas A&M System campus to help meet surge in needed test kits including campuses in Galveston, McAllen and the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. The university presidents will determine where there is the greatest need for the kits in their community.

“No one has ever done this before, but tough times call for creative measures,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M University System. “The very same experts who help track disease outbreaks in animals have put their minds to the biggest problem we all face today and doing what they can to help.”

Dr. Bruce Akey, director of the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, said he sent out a plea for supplies to his labs in Amarillo, Center and Gonzales, and they began overnighting the supplies late last week.

“We are assembling the supplies into sampling kits here in our College Station lab,” Akey said. “We know that 2,000 may not seem like much when there are 20-plus million Texans at risk that may need testing, but if you need to be tested and you can’t right now because they don’t have this kit then it’s a pretty big deal to you and your family. So we are doing what we can right now.”

The kits consist of a swab, a vial with transport media to preserve the sample in the vial, and a bag. The components of the kits are approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use in sampling humans for the COVID-19 virus. They usually cost about $4 to $5 if you were to order them in bulk before the pandemic swept through the existing stock. Now, these simple supplies are back-ordered for months, crippling efforts to test humans for COVID-19.

“We hope to get these sampling kits in the hospitals or clinics where they are most needed as soon as possible,” Akey said. “We are pulling out all the stops.”

Source: Texas A&M Today
Even when there is no global pandemic, veterinarians are on the front lines in protecting human health, especially when it comes to zoonotic diseases, that is, infections that can cross between people and animals.

The expertise of faculty at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine positioned them to assist in the rapid identification of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans, as the cause of a respiratory illness affecting big cats at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. (Fortunately, the affected animals appear to be recovering from the illness.)

The importance of diagnosing natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in a wild cat cannot be overstated… Many of these species are endangered in the wild, and zoo populations play a critical role in conservation efforts.

The key players at Illinois are faculty members in the college’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory:

·        Leyi Wang * , a veterinary virologist with expertise in coronaviruses in animals. By March 15, in response to the outbreak, Dr. Wang had created an assay for the rapid detection of the virus. He has received many samples representing species including dog, cat, gorilla, chimpanzee, armadillo, and most recently this tiger. He is the author of the 2016 text  Coronaviruses in Animals .

·        Karen Terio ** , chief of the diagnostic lab’s Zoological Pathology Program (ZPP) and an international leader on medical issues that impact wild cats. A veterinary pathologist at the Bronx Zoo, Dr. Denise McAloose, called Dr. Terio on April 1 to discuss respiratory illness in a big cat under the zoo’s care and to ask about testing options for SARS-CoV-2. Drs. Terio and McAloose were two of three editors who in 2018 published the definitive textbook  Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals ; Dr. Terio was also the lead author of the book’s the chapter on big cats.

·        Rick Fredrickson , director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, who coordinated communication with federal authorities. Leaving Urbana at 3 a.m. on April 4, Dr. Fredrickson personally drove the samples from the ill tiger that had tested positive in the Illinois lab to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. There the Illinois lab’s results were confirmed and the virus was sequenced.

“Veterinarians throughout the zoo and wildlife fields contact colleagues to discuss cases so that we can provide the best possible management for animals in our care,” said Dr. Terio. “ZPP has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo veterinary staff to provide diagnostics for other cases in the past, so it was not unusual for us to get a call from them.”

After Wednesday’s conversation between Dr. Terio and Dr. McAloose, samples from a Malayan tiger (oropharyngeal and nasal swabs, tracheal wash) were obtained by veterinarians at the Bronx Zoo and sent to Dr. Wang for molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2. Duplicate samples were also sent to Cornell University, which operates the Animal Health Diagnostic Center in New York state.

Within hours of their arrival at Illinois on April 3, the tiger samples were analyzed. Results showed that all samples tested positive for the virus.

By April 4, the NVSL had confirmed those results.

As required by international agreement, the USDA will be reporting the findings to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Meanwhile, leaders at the Bronx Zoo conferred with officials at the USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), animal and human health officials in New York City and the state of New York, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force on the possible implications of this first case to be reported in a big cat.

Human and animal health experts agree on the following

·        It is presumed that a zoo employee served as the source for the tiger’s infection with the virus.

·        Researchers and authorities are constantly learning about the new coronavirus and are evaluating developments to ensure that the most accurate advice is made available to the public.

·        There is no evidence that wild or domestic cats have served as a means of transmission of the virus to people.

·        It is advisable at this time that pet owners and veterinarians strictly observe hand-washing and other infection-control measures,  as outlined by the CDC , when handling animals.

“The importance of diagnosing natural SARS-CoV-2 infection in a wild cat cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Terio. “In my role as a veterinary advisor to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, I am currently working on guidelines for zoos to help protect cats in our care. Many of these species are endangered in the wild, and zoo populations play a critical role in conservation efforts. At this time, we consider it probable that infections in wild cats will be due to spread from humans.

“Because of these cases, we now know that some species of wild cats are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and develop clinical disease. But this does not necessarily mean that domestic cats will be getting sick.

“There are a lot more domestic cats that have been exposed to the virus than tigers, so finding it first in a tiger might suggest differences in susceptibility among these cat species. This is not unprecedented, as other viral infections can cause severe and even fatal disease in wild or big cats but not affect domestic cats. We have to remember that they are different species. There are still a lot of unknowns.”

See also:    USDA News Release

Source U of Illinois College of Veterinary M edicine
USDA Statement on the Confirmation of COVID-19 in a Tiger in New York
Last Modified: Apr 6, 2020

(Washington, D.C. April 5, 2020) – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories has confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans) in one tiger at a zoo in New York. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected with COVID-19. Samples from this tiger were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness.

Public health officials believe these large cats became sick after being exposed to a zoo employee who was actively shedding virus. The zoo has been closed to the public since mid-March, and the first tiger began showing signs of sickness on March 27. All of these large cats are expected to recover. There is no evidence that other animals in other areas of the zoo are showing symptoms.

USDA and CDC are monitoring the situation and working to support the state and local health departments and state animal health officials. State animal and public health officials will take the lead in making determinations about whether animals, either at this zoo or in other areas, should be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. USDA will notify the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of this finding.

Anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, out of an abundance of caution including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If a sick person must care for a pet or be around animals, they should wash their hands before and after the interaction.

Questions and Answers:

Can people give this virus to animals and, if so, what animals are at risk?

This is the first case of its kind. We are still learning about this new coronavirus and how it spreads. This case suggests that a zoo employee spread the virus to the tiger. Further studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19. State animal and public health officials will continue to work closely with USDA and CDC to monitor this situation and will conduct additional testing if it is warranted.

If multiple animals were showing symptoms, why was only one tested?

Only one tiger was tested as the collection of diagnostic samples in big cats requires general anesthesia. Since all tigers and lions were exhibiting similar respiratory symptoms, the attending veterinarian felt it was in the best interest of the animals to limit the potential risks of general anesthesia to one tiger for diagnostics.

If animals can catch the virus, can they give it back to people?

At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets or livestock, can spread COVID-19 infection to people.

Will this finding prompt additional testing of animals?

No. This is an evolving situation, however, routine testing of zoo or personal animals is not recommended at this time. Public and animal health officials may decide to test certain animals that are showing signs of illness and that are known to have been exposed to the virus. More information about how those decisions will be made is available here:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/one_health/downloads/faq-public-on-companion-animal-testing.pdf

Should any animal showing signs of respiratory illness be tested?

USDA and CDC do not recommend routine testing of animals for this virus. Because the situation is ever-evolving, public and animal health officials may decide to test certain animals out of an abundance of caution. The decision to test will be made collaboratively between local, state or federal public and animal health officials.

Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick from coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets. More information is available on how to keep people and animals safe at  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/animals.html.

What should I do if I think my animal has the virus?

Call your veterinary clinic with any questions about your animal’s health. In order to ensure the veterinary clinic is prepared for the household animal, the owner should call ahead and arrange the hospital or clinic visit. Make sure to tell your veterinarian if your animal was exposed a person sick with COVID-19, and if your animal is showing any signs of illness. Veterinarians who believe an animal should be tested will contact state animal health officials, who will work with public and animal health authorities to decide whether samples should be collected and tested.

Could this affect tigers or other animals at other zoos across the United States?

There is no evidence of this virus affecting animals at any other facilities in the United States. However, anyone sick with COVID-19 should restrict contact with animals, including pets, during their illness, just as they would with other people. Although there have not been reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus. If a sick person must care for a pet or be around animals, they should wash their hands before and after the interaction.

Source: APHIS Press
Cornell veterinarians donate equipment in COVID-19 relief effort
ITHACA -With the number of confirmed  cases of COVID-19 increasing  throughout the state, Cornell veterinarians have been donating equipment in the COVID-19 relief effort.

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine donated the following equipment in Ithaca:

·       400 hydra flock swabs to Cornell Health

·       250 surgical masks to Cayuga Medical Center and Tompkins County Health Department

·       75 face shields to Cayuga Medical Center and Tompkins County Health Department

·       150 viral transport kits to Cayuga Medical Center and Tompkins County Health Department

·       15+ liters of bulk Viral Transport Medium for our local health department (enough to collect 30K samples)

·       1000+ N95 respirator masks to health care workers at Cayuga Medical Center

·       Researchers and the college and WCM as well as biosecurity officers are studying how to sterilize these masks so they can be reused

The college has loaned several ventilators and anesthesia machines to New York hospitals battling the coronavirus outbreak, including Weill Cornell Medicine. The veterinary school also has some equipment ready for transport to Cayuga Medical Center as well as additional materials, including: fluid pumps, syringe drivers, imaging (ultrasound) equipment, patient warmers and physiological monitors.
Dr. Luis Campoy stands next to an anesthesia machine. Cornell veterinarians are donating these anesthesia machines which can be used as ventilators.  (Photo: Provided Photo / Cornell University Media Relations Office)
The following have been loaned or are ready to be loaned:

·       3 ventilators

·       19 anesthesia machines (can be used as ventilators)

The Cornell University Hospital for Animals loaned the following equipment delivered on March 30:

·       10 anesthesia machines

·       13 physiological monitors

·       4 warm air units

Cornell University Veterinary Specialists, located in Stamford, Conn., donated and loaned the following equipment delivered on March 22:

·       2 ventilators to Weill Cornell Medicine

·       Oxygen unit to Weill Cornell Medicine

·       PPE and all associated circuits and accessories

Source: Ithaca Journal. Follow Matt Steecker on Twitter  @OnTheStecord . Support our journalism and become a digital subscriber today. 
Oregon State University offers big helping hand for COVID-19 testing
by Kelsey Christensen and KVAL.com Staff 
Tuesday, April 7th 2020
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State University is helping to expand testing in a big way by providing a critical piece to the Coronavirus testing process, that they're now sending out to hospitals.

Inside OSU’s animal diagnostic lab at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine lies a critical component for  COVID-19 testing.

OSU researcher Justin Sanders says this element is something called virtual transport medium, or VTM.

Here's why it's important: O
After a swab sample is collected during the COVID-19 testing process, it needs to be transported to a lab for testing.

The thing is, Sanders says the samples are very fragile, so the VTM acts as a preservative to make sure the sample stays intact until it reaches the lab.

“Without this, samples cannot be adequately preserved during transport,” Sanders said.

Surprisingly to some, this batch of VTM comes from OSU’s animal diagnostic lab, meaning it's typically used for animal virus testing.

But don't worry, it's the same medium used for both animals and human testing.

And the reason this animal lab is helping is that hospitals just need more of it.

“Hospitals really don’t have the capacity to make it from scratch,” he said.

Sanders says hospitals across Oregon and even some on the east coast are asking for VTM by the liters.

So much in fact that more OSU researchers are hopping on board.

Sanders says three liters of this stuff can preserve around 1,000 tests.

But given that VTM is just one component of testing, Sanders says another bottleneck in the process is the number of swabs - another item in high demand amid the pandemic.
END Source:  KCBY.com 
Oregon State University VDL Director Dr. Mark Ackerman also reports they have been asked by local physicians, hospitals, physician groups to do testing of human samples and are making an agreement with a CAP/CLIA approved urinary toxicology laboratory (Willamette Valley Toxicology (WVT)) and moved some equipment there. They are also supporting an epidemiology study of COVID-19 at Oregon State University (5000 samples).

They are testing animals for SARS-CoV-2 and worked with their public health veterinarian and state veterinarian in creating an animal testing policy.  
Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene works with campus partners to test for COVID-19
April 9, 2020 By  Eric Hamilton  For news media 
Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.  CDC / HANNAH A BULLOCK; AZAIBI TAMIN
As COVID-19 has infected more than 1 million people around the world — and more than 2,500 Wisconsin residents — since late December 2019, everything from nose-and-throat swabs to the chemical substances, or reagents, needed to conduct tests for the disease are in short supply.

Alana Sterkel, assistant director in the communicable disease division of the  Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene  at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which has run thousands of tests for COVID-19 in the state, says we need more widely available testing to understand and curb the pandemic. Although the global surge in demand for testing materials has made the test harder to conduct in many places, WSLH’s colleagues at the university have pitched in to keep testing available in Wisconsin.

Under normal conditions, the test is a straightforward lab procedure designed to home in on a specific virus.

Detecting virus in a sample from the nose or throat of an infected patient requires the ability to identify trace amounts of its genetic material using a process called polymerase chain reaction. For coronaviruses such as the one that causes COVID-19, this genetic material is a molecule called RNA.

To do the test, scientists first need to convert the virus’s RNA into DNA, and this requires an enzyme to translate one type of genetic code into the other. The enzyme is called reverse transcriptase, and it was discovered in 1970 by UW–Madison virologist and Nobel Prize winner  Howard Temin  along with his colleague David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It also requires a machine called a thermal cycler, which allows scientists to make many copies of the genetic material so there is enough of it to measure. Other reagents are necessary to stabilize and complete the reactions.

Although the global surge in demand for testing materials has made the test harder to conduct in many places, WSLH’s colleagues at the university have pitched in to keep testing available in Wisconsin.

It would have been relatively simple to increase local testing capacity if the new virus hit only one part of the world. But that’s not what happened.

“Simultaneously, all across the globe, everyone was trying to purchase the same materials at the same time,” says Sterkel.

However, WSLH’s colleagues across the university have stepped up to help by donating some of the necessary reagents, supplies and more. One of its biggest partners has been the  Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory , which has loaned equipment and reagents and provided training to WSLH.

The WVDL has also stepped up to produce the viral transport media that preserves patient samples for testing — a key bottleneck in many places. The lab runs exactly the same kinds of tests for diseases in animals and has long made similar test kits for partners around the state. A team of eight to 10 staff is now able to produce up to 10,000 kits a week.

The WVDL was able to make its first batches of test kits using materials on hand as soon as WSLH needed them and has shipped in fresh materials to keep producing media for as long as necessary. The lab also continues to fulfill its duties to animal testing.

“We already had a strong collaborative relationship with the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene,” says Keith Poulsen, director of the WVDL and professor at the  UW School of Veterinary Medicine . “That relationship has made it easier to deal with difficult times like this.”

WSLH’s colleagues across the university have stepped up to help by donating some of the necessary reagents, supplies and more.

UW Hospital and WSLH have also been working closely together. They’ve traded materials to allow both WSLH and UW Hospital’s clinical lab to continue testing patients. The WSLH has provided validation and educational materials to UW Health and to dozens of other health systems around the state to boost statewide testing capacity.

And WSLH has received support from within its own ranks. Other divisions within the agency have offered time, materials and expertise to assist with testing.

New rapid tests are starting to roll out, Sterkel says, and this could improve the ability of hospital labs to diagnose patient samples. The tests can provide health care workers and their patients with results in as little as five minutes. They’re also easy to use and are familiar to doctors and nurses, who have been using similar tests for infections like the flu for years. As these rapid tests come online, WSLH will incorporate them to help with quick diagnosis when time is of the essence.

The rapid tests might also relieve some pressure on the global demand for materials since they rely on a different supply chain than the current, more labor-intensive testing method. Yet, one item all the tests have in common is the nose-and-throat swabs used to collect samples from patients. The swabs remain in short supply.

The WSLH will continue to offer testing based on polymerase chain reaction detection. That’s because it remains a bedrock for responding to evolving infections. It is adaptable and can be quickly directed at new viruses.

“This allowed us to start testing (for the novel coronavirus) before anybody else in the state. It is also much cheaper than these rapid kits, allowing us to offer free testing. And it is easier to scale up than the rapid methods, meaning we can test many more people in a day,” says Sterkel.

For now, WSLH continues to test hundreds of samples a day, not only for COVID-19, but also for other infectious diseases that affect the health of the state’s residents. The lab remains grateful for the strength of its unique partnerships.

“It has been an amazing collaborative effort of people coming in to join together to meet the needs of the state,” says Sterkel.

Source: University of Wisconsin – Madison
Dr. David Steffen’s Hometown Celebrates his AAVLD Pope Award
Editor’s Note: Dr. David Steffen recently received the AAVLD Pope Award, our organizations highest award, at our annual meeting. We reprint with permission this story from his hometown newspaper, celebrating his career accomplishments. DHZ
March 11, 2020

Lincoln, Neb. —Growing up on a farm near the small community in of Fordyce in Northeast Nebraska, David Steffen dreamed of one day becoming a country vet.

His family raised cows, sows and broilers, and he got to know the country veterinarians who tended to the livestock of his family and his neighbors. Their days seemed interesting and varied, Steffen said. Veterinarians helped both animals and the people who cared for them. All of these things appealed to Steffen.

He attended college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he studied animal science. After graduation, he went on to Iowa State University, where he got his DVM.

For a few years, he did become a country vet. But his wife, whose expertise was in computers, had a difficult time finding a job, and Steffen began looking for a position someplace where she could put her degree to work, too. He and his wife moved to Manhattan, Kan., where he began work on a doctoral degree at Kansas State University. This put him on track for an academic career, with a stop at North Dakota State University before he returned to Nebraska.

Today, he provides leadership in diagnostic pathology and as the quality control section head of the veterinary diagnostic center. And recently, he received the highest honor in the field of veterinary diagnostics -- the 2019 Dr. Edward P. Pope Memorial Award, presented by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

The award was a huge honor and came as somewhat of a surprise to Steffen, whose favorite part of the job remains helping people.

On a recent morning in his office in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center, he looked at slides from feeder lambs that were succumbing to a mystery affliction, as well as from a Scottish terrier with a terrible looking liver. Steffen finds it rewarding to figure out a diagnosis for a livestock producer whose livelihood is affected by disease, or for a pet owner who wants to know why their pet is sick.
“It is a blessing to work using scientific knowledge to help others,” Steffen said in a story about the award in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. “Every day I am provided the opportunity to develop meaningful, productive relationships with clients and scientists as we partner to improve the economic vitality of animal agriculture, the emotional health of pet owners, and the general health of animal populations and all people.”

No two days are quite alike, and Steffen enjoys that, too.

“You get to see all kinds of weird, interesting stuff,” he said. “You get to be a detective.”

One particularly interesting mystery he encountered was a fatal type of dwarfism that showed up in several different breeds of calves. Steffen was able to pinpoint a genetic cause for the disease.
which ultimately allowed for development of a test for breeders. Over his career, Steffen was able to identify seven different genetic disorders – all of which led to the development of tests that livestock producer can use to determine whether their animals are afflicted.

“With genomics now, we can go from recognizing a disease to having a test for it within a year,” he said.

Throughout his career, he has dedicated time and expertise to advance animal health and veterinary pathology at state and national levels, serving on the Nebraska Poultry Health Committee, the Nebraska State Lab Response Network, and the Johne’s Disease Committee. He has been a member of the American association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnostics since 1996, over the years serving as both vice president and president. He also served as an associate editor for the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. He has author or co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications on topics including diagnostics, comparative medical sciences and many other issues and received numerous other awards. He also served as an undergraduate advisor for more than a decade, and has kept in contact with many of his old students.

“Dave has made many significant contributions to animal health, livestock management, and veterinary pathology,” said Ron Yoder, Associate Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We highly value his work here at the university, as do livestock producers across Nebraska and the country.”

Steffen didn’t imagine that his plan to be a country vet would have led him down the path it did. But the things that drew him into vet medicine in the first place – the variety, the opportunity to meet people and to help them – have remained central throughout his career. He’s more likely, though, to do so from his office than on a farm like the one where he grew up.

“My happy place is here at my microscope,” he said.

Dr. Bruce Akey appointed to NADPRP Consultation Board
Editor’s Note: Recently, USDA APHIS announced that our AAVLD member and Government Relations Committee Cochair has been appointed to this prestigious national board. Congratulations Dr. Akey! Story below. DHZ
The National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program Consultation Board will be holding its first meeting tomorrow. In advance of tomorrow’s virtual meeting, we would like to share the stakeholder announcement pasted below that includes the list of consultation board members. 
We would like to thank the U.S. Animal Health Association for helping us to identify representatives from state, industry and academia. The consultation board will recommend annual funding priorities, provide input to improve program policies and processes, nominate experts to review and rank funding proposals, and make recommendations for the program’s annual spending plan.
APHIS Announces Consultation Board to Assist with Implementing National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has established a consultation board to assist the agency with implementation of the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program. This new program was created by the 2018 Farm Bill to fund projects that will help prevent animal pests and diseases from entering the United States and reduce the spread and impact of potential disease incursions.
The board is comprised of 10 members nominated by the United States Animal Health Association representing states, industry and academia, as well as one representative from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and one Tribal nation representative. APHIS Veterinary Services will coordinate and participate on the board. 
The consultation board will recommend annual funding priorities, provide input to improve program policies and processes, nominate experts to review and rank funding proposals, and make recommendations for the program’s annual spending plan. Once the board agrees on 2020 funding priorities, APHIS will announce details about how eligible entities can apply for funding. 
The board will meet virtually on March 31, to set the 2020 NADPRP funding priorities. The board will also determine the process for rotating members and recruiting new members to assure fair representation of all entities eligible to participate in the NADPRP.
The following individuals will serve on the consultation board representing NADPRP eligible entities.
State Animal Health Officials
  • Dr. Robert Cobb, Georgia
  • Dr. Beth Thompson, Minnesota
  • Dr. Sara McReynolds, Kansas
Industry Representatives
  • Bovine – Dr. Kathy Simmons, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • Porcine – Dr. Lisa Becton, National Pork Board
  • Poultry – Dr. Denise Heard, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association
  • Small Ruminant – Mrs. Amy Hendrickson, Wyoming Wool Growers, on behalf of the American Sheep Industry Association
Academic Representatives
  • Dr. Mo Salman, Colorado State University
  • Dr. Bruce Akey, Texas A&M – Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Dr. James Roth, Iowa State University
USDA Agricultural Research Services
  • Dr. Cyril Gay, National Program Leader
Tribal Representative
  • Lynda Zambrano, National Tribal Emergency Management Council
The 2019 NADPRP funding focused on training and exercises related to animal disease responses. In January 2020, APHIS awarded $5.2 million to support projects for all major livestock industries and all regions of the United States, with a third of the projects impacting national or regional levels. These include:
·      advancing training for all foreign animal disease diagnosticians (FADDs) across the United States through the development of an online training program and updated resources;
·      preparing for an upcoming Foreign Animal Disease Southern Agriculture Functional Exercise that will focus on foot-and-mouth disease preparedness across all susceptible species; and
·      building capability to implement a Secure Food Supply (SFS) plan and enhance business continuity during disease outbreaks through training and exercises for dairy, poultry and beef producers.
“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

Marvel at more than 3 million holiday lights and magnificent decorations, plus activities and events that will get you in the spirit of the season. Learn more SoundWaves, an upscale water experience featuring four acres of combined indoor and...

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AAVLD Members in the News
REB # 19-09-014
Worth Quoting
I simply can't build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery and death... I think... peace and tranquillity will return again.

Sourece: BrainyQuote

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 ( rozuna@aavld.org )
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- CANCELED

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

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

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.
2020 Sponsors
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

© 2015, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

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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!