Ohio ADDL March/April Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -  MARCH/ APRIL 2017

In this issue

- HPAI Testing

- Equine vaccinations

- USALIMS update

- Visiting Scientists

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Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

8995 East Main Street

Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Phone: (614) 728-6220

Fax: (614 ) 728-6310



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HPAI Testing

Melanie Prarat, Virology Section Laboratory Scientist 


The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed two cases of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in Tennessee early in March, resulting in the depopulation of 128,500 birds at two commercial breeder facilities. It is important to note that this H7N9 strain is of North American lineage and is NOT the same as the H7N9 virus that has impacted poultry and infected humans in China. The ADDL is a member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), with several NAHLN-certified scientists that perform influenza testing using RT-qPCR. The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is working aggressively with Ohio’s poultry industry and federal partners to prevent the spread of avian influenza. Ohio has no reported cases of avian influenza, and together regulators, farmers and veterinarians are working to protect the health of the state’s bird population. Since January 2017, ADDL staff have tested more than 700 poultry samples from commercial facilities, backyard flocks, and live bird markets in Ohio for avian influenza; all samples have been negative for HPAI. In the event of an outbreak situation in Ohio, the ADDL has high-throughput capacity in order to meet anticipated test demands. 


Information about sample collection and/or testing of sick birds suspecting avian influenza virus infection can be found on the ADDL web site at http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ai/addl/addl.aspx.


You may also contact ADDL at 614-728-6220 for further guidance. 


EEE/WNV Vaccination

Dr. Jeff Hayes, Pathology Section Head


Spring is upon us and mosquito vectors are beginning to appear for West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV in horses include flu-like symptoms such as mild anorexia and depression; fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculations; hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound) and  changes in mentation (mentality). Horses may look like they are daydreaming or "just not with it". Occasional somnolence (drowsiness), propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control); and "spinal" signs, including asymmetrical weakness may occur. Some horses show asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia. Equine mortality rates can be as high as 30-40 percent. 


Horse owners should consult their private practicing veterinarian to determine an appropriate disease prevention plan for their horses. Vaccines have proven to be a very effective prevention tool. Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot. However, if an owner did not vaccinate their animal in previous years, the horse will need the 2-shot vaccination series within a 3 to 6-week period. WNV is usually combined with eastern and western encephalitis vaccines. One booster may be able to cover 3 viruses or more as well as tetanus. 


In addition to vaccinations, horse owners are encouraged to reduce the mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas. Recommendations include removing stagnant water sources, keeping animals inside during the bug's feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening, and using mosquito repellents. 


The mantra for horse owners should be vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!  Great protection can be provided for the horse! Additional information about WNV in horses can be found at the American Association of Equine Practitioners web site: https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Outside%20Linked%20Documents/DiseaseFactsheet_WNV.pdf

Timely intervention can help horse owners avoid very sad outcomes and protect their horses from this important equine disease.



Linda Barber, Central Receiving and Client Liaison Supervisor


The ADDL database, USALIMS, is updated every year. These upgrades improve functionality and provide enhancements for ADDL clients and lab personnel. The next update is Friday March 31 and will start at 6 pm. The upgrade will be completed by 1 pm on Saturday, April 1st. Access to the USALIMS Portal will not be available to clients during that timeFull access should be restored by 1 pm on April 1st. ADDL appreciates your understanding during this time period. Please call the laboratory at 614-728-6220 during normal working hours or 888-456-3405 after hours if you have any questions.

ADDL Welcomes Visiting Lab Scientists from Guyana


Anne Parkinson, Serology Section Head 


On March 7th, the ADDL and Consumer Protection Laboratory (CPL) welcomed two visiting scientists from the Caribbean island nation of Guyana. The scientists represent their country’s Food and Drug Department and Animal Disease Laboratory.  The visit was a collaborative educational effort between the ADDL/CPL and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The goal was to learn and receive hands-on experience with automated ELISA technologies currently being used in the ADDL/CPL, in order to adapt these methods for their own laboratories. The training included rotation through the different service units within the ADDL and CPL operating ELISA test methods. The scientists reviewed quality assurance protocols and method certification procedures that can be used in their laboratories in Guyana.