Ohio ADDL August Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -   AUGUST 2018

In this issue

- Influenza Testing for Show Pigs

- Cytauxzoonosis in a cat

- New Employee

- Summer Interns

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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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Influenza Testing

Dr. Yan Zhang, DVM, PhD, ADDL Virology Section Head 

Each year, fair livestock shows provide a showcase of successful completion of youth projects and their hard work and dedication to their livestock. Occasionally, influenza outbreaks occur among show pigs. Clinical signs include fever, off feed, lethargy, and respiratory signs such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. The disease can be zoonotic and transmission to humans is possible. To protect pig and public health, ADDL provides a rapid PCR diagnostic test for influenza in show pigs. Nasal swabs from pigs with clinical signs consistent with the flu should be collected and sent on ice to ADDL by a courier or overnight mail delivery. Please contact ADDL at 612-728-6220 for testing information. ODA also has helpful advice to minimize influenza transmission at swine exhibitions.


IAV Testing

First Confirmed Case of Feline Cytauxzoonosis at ADDL

Dr. Craig Sarver, MS, DVM, Pathologist, and Dr. Jeff Hayes, MS, DVM, Pathology Section Head 


The first cat in Ohio to be confirmed with a fatal infection of Cytauxzoon felis was diagnosed in June, 2018 at the ADDL. Necropsy of a 6-year-old, female, Domestic Short Haired cat from Scioto County showed gross lesions that included moderate dehydration, pale yellow mucus membranes and subcutaneous tissues (jaundice), splenomegaly, hydrothorax, pulmonary congestion and edema, hepatopathy evidenced by red mottled areas in the parenchyma, and dark yellow urine. The cat was 1 of 3 affected cats in a household of six that died suddenly with signs of anemia, high fever, lethargy, kidney disease and liver disease. All 3 affected felines were covered in ticks.


Histopathology of the lung showed multiple pulmonary vessels and septal capillaries filled with numerous macrophages laden with schizonts that had numerous 1-2-micron diameter, round to oval, basophilic organisms (merozoites). Hepatic vessels have myriad schizont-laden macrophages with smaller numbers in the sinusoids. Low numbers of macrophages containing similar schizonts were found in the kidney. Spleen tissue was forwarded to the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine Vector Borne Diagnostic Laboratory, which detected nucleic acid of Cytauxzoon by PCR testing.


Cytauxzoon felis is a protozoan hemoparasite in the family of Theileriidae, that causes severe clinical disease and high mortality in domestic and exotic cats in the south central and southeastern United States. The disease has erythocytic and tissue macrophage stages of infection. The natural reservoir is the North American bobcat (Lynx fufus) where the Cytauxzoon infection is usually subclinical. The infection is transferred from wild bobcats to domesticated cats by tick vectors (Dermacentor variabilis and Amblyomma americanum). Pet owners are reminded to check their pets often for ticks and to develop a tick bite prevention program for their pets in consultation with their veterinarian.


Macrophages laden with C. felis schizonts are present in vessel lumens of a section of liver (left) and lung (right) from a 6-year-old DSH cat that died from this infection.


New Employee Spotlight

Charity Conn started with the Animal Health Division in May. She resides near Thornville with her husband David, and has two grown stepchildren. Charity graduated from Zane State College with an Associate of Applied Science. She worked on a local dairy farm for three and a half years where she milked 50-70 head of cattle, cared for newborn calves and assisted with herd management. Prior to coming to the ADDL, Charity worked as a Receptionist and Veterinary Assistant in a busy veterinary clinic. Charity has a variety of hobbies including, baking, walking, gardening, knitting, cross-stitching, kayaking, reading, road trips, (she’s always up for an adventure and to learn something new) and hanging out with her niece Lilly.

Summer Interns Learn, Contribute at ADDL

MPH Interns
L to R: Lauren Brady, Becky Fultz, Hanna Cook, Drew Barkley

Melanie Prarat, MS, ADDL Virology Section

The ADDL had several graduate students intern in Bacteriology, Pathology and Virology. All four are current graduate students in Ohio State University's Master of Public Health - Veterinary Public Health Program. Lauren spent her time in the Bacteriology section working with Salmonella. Becky worked in the Pathology section, focusing on bovine enteric cases. Hanna specialized in researching avian influenza and learning new virology lab techniques. Drew became an expert in influenza viruses and was introduced to the field of bioinformatics.


ODAU interns
Allison Rapp and Catherine Ephlin


The ADDL Virology Section was fortunate to welcome two undergraduate students to intern this summer in the laboratory. Catherine Ephlin (BS '19, Animal Sciences, Purdue University) and Allison Rapp (BS '21, Animal Sciences, Ohio State Univeristy) got a glimpse of daily veterinary diagnostic lab life, from sample receipt and processing, to testing and reporting of results to our clients. They were involved in several projects involving lab logistics, observed several necropsies, and learned how new technologies, like whole genome sequencing, are revolutionizing diagnostic medicine. 


"My favorite part of working in the lab was gaining experience in the field of Public Health (I am pursuing a career in Veterinary Public Health), an area we are not as exposed to as much in the university setting."

Catherine Ephlin

"My favorite part of being an ADDL intern was gaining hands-on lab experience with some of the best professionals in the field."

Allison Rapp


We wish them the best of luck back at school and hope to see them again in the future!

Learn more about our ODA internship program. 



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