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NAHLN Testing - University of Wyoming, Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory

Miller, Kurt; Montgomery, Donald
University of Wyoming
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The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL) is an American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians-accredited animal disease diagnostic laboratory. The WSVL has been a `member laboratory' of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) for several years and successfully renewed this membership through April 30, 2010. The WSVL is currently approved to test for animal diseases of importance to national security or that are considered to be of high national importance including foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever, vesicular stomatitis, avian influenza, exotic Newcastle disease, chronic wasting disease, scrapie. The WSVL is taking steps to continue membership in the NAHLN and to increase the value of WSVL as a member laboratory. For small public-funded laboratories in sparsely populated states, it is a challenge to maintain currency and offer a complete menu of routine diagnostic tests while at the same time maintaining a commitment to the NAHLN for testing of high impact diseases. Adequate depth in trained technical staff is necessary to ensure that demands of routine as well as NAHLN testing are satisfied. Ensuring that equipment/instruments are professionally maintained and calibrated will help guarantee the accuracy of results and avoid costly downtime.

Objective #1 is to request continued partial salary support for this technical staff member who is currently proficiency tested for several diseases under the auspices of the NAHLN.

Objective #2 is to request dollar support to defray maintenance and calibration costs for two Cepheid SmartCyclers.

Achieving these two objectives will address laboratory issues specified in the NAHLN RFA. Testing through the NAHLN helps to insure the health and well being of the nation's livestock and wildlife and to preserve public health.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Maintaining the health of the nation's domestic animal and wildlife populations is necessary for national security, economic viability, and public health. Some animal diseases that are currently present in the country's animal populations or that are exotic to the United States are of special concern. The National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), a system of state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, was created to assist USDA-APHIS-VS in their surveillance efforts for these diseases. These state laboratories serve as a first line of defense against these diseases. Through continued surveillance, national animal health and security officials are able to maintain an awareness of the incidence and distribution of such diseases that currently affect native animal populations. Early detection of exotic animal diseases will assist the federal government in control, eradication, and help mitigate the adverse effects, including those that impact the nation's security and economic viability.

APPROACH: Testing for diseases that may have serious consequences for animal and public health and national security through the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) is the major focus for participating diagnostic laboratories. Tests methods and procedures followed by participating laboratories are approved, validated, and controlled by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the participants are expected to demonstrate proficiency in these testing methods. The NAHLN also specifies appropriate instrument or equipment platforms approved to be used in the specified procedures. Methods and procedures for the diseases of interest to the NAHLN include, but are not limited to, molecular diagnostics (PCR) as well as more the traditional methods of agent isolation or culture, serology, and immunohistochemistry. Agent specific issues of security, biosafety, and biocontainment are follwed by NAHLN member laboratories. Results of NAHLN testing are communicated rapidly and securely to NAHLN and the NVSL. Knowledge of the occurence of diseases important to the NAHLN will inform and allow federal officials to react rapidly and effectively, if needed, to outbreaks of such diseases. This testing will help ensure the security and health of the nation's domestic animals, wildlife, and general public.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Viruses and Prions