The Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, which is part of the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science at the University of Connecticut (CVMDL) is fully accredited for all species by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). It is currently a member of the FDA CVM Vet-LiRN and USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). Our successful current and past participation in these organizations demonstrates our keen interest in investigating emerging animal and zoonotic diseases, disease surveillance, and our commitment to quality veterinary diagnostics and networking to improve the scientific knowledge base and response capabilities. The CVMDL has qualified faculty and technicians, a comprehensive quality assurance program with both a full-time and part-time quality manager. All work follows standard operating procedures. Faculty include five experienced veterinary pathologists, four of whom are board certified, and an experienced veterinarian who is the section head overseeing all non-pathology testing e.g. microbiology etc. We participate in proficiency tests offered by Vet-LRN, NAHLN and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL). We are a registered training site for the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and a CL Davis Pathology Learning Center, demonstrating recognition of our expertise in pathology and pathologic investigations. We have an excellent histology laboratory and perform histochemical and immunohistochemical staining as an aid to diagnosis of disease. CVMDL has assisted the CVM Vet-LiRN program over the last five years by performing autopsies, histopathological examinations and any other tests asked of us, as part of the investigation for possible food or drug related illness in animals. CVMDL also has long standing expertise in 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), as well as in serologic testing. CVMDL is the only remaining full-service fully accredited 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 linkages between veterinary and public health, provide early diagnosis and response by Vet-LiRN that can impact both animal and human populations. CVMDL can also benefit from this program through networking with other diagnostic laboratories, participating in proficiency tests to ensure ongoing performance of testing to a quality standard, and also benefits greatly from the support received to help maintain our infrastructure. This is particularly crucial in the coming years when there are substantial rescissions to state funding to the university, and therefore for CVMDL. The funding will be used to help CVM Vet-LIRN aims and objectives by examining samples as requested, and to allow CVMDL to participate in proficiency testing, method enhancement activities to extend analysis capability, and maintenance of the infrastructure needed to carry out the expert pathologic including toxicopathologic and microbiologic examinations that are lab is accredited to perform. .

Public Health Relevance

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-LiRN laboratories, like CVMDL, to enhance surveillance and emergency testing benefits both human and animal health.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1)
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Reimschuessel, Renate
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University of Connecticut
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United States
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