The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Connecticut (CVMDL)is fully accredited by AAVLD and a member of the FDA CVM Vet-LRN and USDA's NAHLN. Ourparticipation in the organizations listed above demonstrates our keen interest in investigatingemerging animal and zoonotic diseases and disease surveillance, as well as our commitment toshared goals of quality veterinary diagnostics and networking to improve the scientific knowledgebase and response capabilities. The CVMDL offers a full service veterinary diagnostic laboratory withqualified faculty and staff, modern facilities and up to date equipment. Co-PI Risatti has significantexpertise in development of molecular based diagnostic assays for federal (USDA) laboratory networkuse; this experience could be helpful when developing standardized protocols for Vet-LRN use.CVMDL has long standing expertise in veterinary pathology, as well as microbiology, mastitis andmolecular based detection of pathogens, including those in environmental samples (animal housingand transport vehicles) and food products (primarily eggs and milk). We currently detect chemicaltoxins via pathology, histopathological lesions (melamine, ethylene glycol), special histochemicalstains (lead, iron, calcium, copper) and immunohistochemical stains (algal toxins, fungal toxins), butare very willing to expand testing for chemical analytes based on Vet-LRN needs. CVMDL is willingparticipate in Vet-LRN testing, method development and standardization, provide surge capacity fortesting if needed, and to expand its testing modalities as resources allow to more fully participate inthis Vet LRN cooperative agreement. We understand the need for timely and appropriate response,reporting, and communication with Vet-LRN, and have already established reporting via eLEXNET.CVMDL is the only remaining full service state veterinary diagnostic laboratory in the 6 state NewEngland region, and provides critical diagnostic and surveillance services for animal and zoonoticdiseases in the region. We have established linkages with the CT Department of Public Health(particularly in areas of zoonotic diseases and emergency response), as well as the CT Department ofAgriculture and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services. CVMDL's participation in this joint endeavor willenhance the linkages between veterinary and public health, providing early diagnosis and response tofood-borne and other pathogens that can impact both animal and human populations.
Veterinary diagnostic laboratories are critical sentinel institutions for the detection of emerging animal diseases. Many emerging diseases (infectious, toxic, accidental or intentional) of people are first detected in wild or domestic animal populations. Providing support for Vet LRN laboratories, like CVMDL, to enhance surveillance and emergency testing benefits both human and animal health.