Ohio ADDL April 2019 Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -   APRIL 2019

In this issue

- ASF Outbreak Preparedness

- Swine influenza A update

- ADDL Pathologist attends meeting about Cross-Reporting of Animal Cruelty

- ADDL researcher talks to high school students about careers in agriculture

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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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ADDL Outbreak Preparedness:

African Swine Fever

Melanie Prarat, MS, Virology Section 

In August 2018, China reported its first outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF). Recently, the disease has spread through China, Mongolia and Vietnam, as well as within parts of the European Union. ASF has never been found in the United States.


The Ohio ADDL works closely with USDA APHIS and WS, the swine industry, and practitioners to prepare to respond to an ASF detection or outbreak within the United States. The ADDL has multiple staff which have demonstrated competency by successfully completing ASFV PCR Proficiency Tests provided by USDA NVSL. This ensures increased capacity and rapid response for ASF testing. In February, ADDL joined state and federal animal health officials as well as swine producers in an ASF exercise of the Ohio ASF Response Plan. As a Level 1 NAHLN lab, ADDL is an important part of Ohio's animal disease outbreak team. 


African swine fever virus (ASFV) affects both domestic and wild pigs. It spreads very quickly and kills most pigs that get it. Fast detection is key to preventing disease spread and limiting the scope of an outbreak. No treatment or vaccine is currently available for ASF.


Humans cannot get ASF, but they can carry it on their clothing, shoes, and equipment. ASFV is also found in pork products that could potentially be fed to pigs in swill. An outbreak in the United States would have devastating economic effects on the swine industry.


More information about ASF can be found on the APHIS ASF webpage.


Influenza A Virus in Swine: Update

Melanie Prarat, MS, Virology Section 

Influenza A virus (IAV-S) is a common cause of respiratory disease in pigs. Often referred to as "swine flu" or "SIV", the influenza A viruses that infect swine (IAV-S) cause endemic respiratory problems in the US year-round. The ADDL uses the rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to screen for the nucleic acid of IAV followed by a subtyping PCR assay for hemagglutinin and neuraminidase genes. The H1N1, H3N2, and H1N2 subtypes of IAV-S have been detected in samples submitted to the laboratory for the last three years. Occasionally, mixed IAV-S infection (ie, H1, H3, N1, N2 subtypes found in the sample) was also detected. The frequency (represented as % of total isolates subtyped) of each subtype detected in Ohio pig farms between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2019 is shown in the following graph:


Chart summarizing 2019 IAV-S viruses subtyped by Ohio ADDL, as of 03-31-2019

ADDL Pathologist Participates in Meeting to Discuss Cross-Reporting of Abuse

Dr. Alice Roudabush, DVM, DACVP, attended a multi-agency meeting, “Cross-Reporting for Humane and Human Services: A Species-Spanning Approach to Safer Families and Communities,” conducted Friday, March 29, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. The purpose of the meeting was to learn about documented links between animal abuse and child abuse, domestic violence, and other forms of violence against humans, and to improve communication between local groups such as law enforcement, child protective services, humane organizations, and veterinarians with the goal of stopping the cycle of violence against humans and animals. Dr. Roudabush shared information regarding the ADDL’s ability to perform forensic necropsies and other diagnostic tests which can be used to document and help prosecute cases of suspected animal cruelty.


ADDL was invited to attend the meeting by the Animal Welfare Institute.

ADDL Researcher Talks to High School Students About Careers in Agriculture

Melanie Prarat, an ADDL Researcher, recently was invited to speak to two Bioscience Technologies classes at Gahanna Lincoln High School/Eastland-Fairfield Career and Technical Schools. Students in this accelerated program have strong backgrounds in math and science with goals of working in agriculture, medicine, forensics, genetics, and food science, among others. Melanie presented several career pathways available within agriculture, highlighting those related to food safety and animal health. After the presentations, several students expressed interest in learning more about the Ohio Department of Agriculture and future internship opportunities. We hope to one day see some of these bright individuals at the ODA!


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