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. Our participation in the organizations listed above demonstrates our keen interest in investigating emerging animal and zoonotic diseases and disease surveillance, as well as our commitment to shared goals of quality veterinary diagnostics and networking to improve the scientific knowledge base and response capabilities. The CVMDL offers a full service veterinary diagnostic laboratory with qualified faculty and staff, modern facilities and up to date equipment. Co-PI Risatti has significant expertise in development of molecular based diagnostic assays for federal (USDA) laboratory network use;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 and molecular based detection of pathogens, including those in environmental samples (animal housing and transport vehicles) and food products (primarily eggs and milk). We currently detect chemical toxins via pathology, histopathological lesions (melamine, ethylene glycol), special histochemical stains (lead, iron, calcium, copper) and immunohistochemical stains (algal toxins, fungal toxins), but are very willing to expand testing for chemical analytes based on Vet-LRN needs. CVMDL is willing participate in Vet-LRN testing, method development and standardization, provide surge capacity for testing if needed, and to expand its testing modalities as resources allow to more fully participate in this 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 New England region, and provides critical diagnostic and surveillance services for animal and zoonotic diseases 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 of Agriculture and USDA APHIS Veterinary Services. CVMDL's participation in this joint endeavor will enhance the linkages between veterinary and public health, providing early diagnosis and response to food-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.