Ohio ADDL February 2020 Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -   FEBRUARY 2020

In this issue

- 2019 summaries for PRRS and IAV-S

- Beef Expo

- Retirement of Mary Beth Weisner

- New Employees

- Upcoming Holiday

Contact us

Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

8995 East Main Street

Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Phone: (614) 728-6220

Fax: (614 ) 728-6310



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Monday - Friday

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Excluding the following holidays:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • President's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran's Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas

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2019 Summary - Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV)

Melanie Prarat, MS, ADDL Virology Section Researcher

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a viral disease of swine characterized by reproductive impairment or failure in breeding animals, and respiratory disease in pigs of any age. PRRS is an economically significant disease affecting swine, costing the pork industry more than $664 million annually. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis is used to asses genomic variation within  the highly variable type 2 PRRSV ORF5. Phylogenetic relationships between PRRSV strains can then be generated at the individual farm level to monitor local changes within a herd. The ADDL offers rapid sequencing of the ORF5 region, with phylogenetic analysis upon request. 


The ADDL performed 7,865 PRRS RT-qPCRs for our clients in 2019. More than 100 PRRSV-positive samples were submitted for ORF5 sequencing and analysis. Client reports include the sequence-determined RFLP pattern and a summary of how closely related a PRRSV may be to commercial vaccines or if the virus is considered a wild-type strain.


Several years of ORF5 sequence data has been collected from Ohio swine herds, with the distribution of RFLP patterns sequenced in 2019 provided in the graph below. In 2019, the two most common RFLPs were 2-5-2 and 1-7-4. 


PRRSV RFLP types detected during 2019 in Ohio.

2019 Summary - Influenza A Virus in Swine (IAV-S)

Melanie Prarat, MS, ADDL Virology Section Researcher

Influenza A virus (IAV) causes a contagious respiratory disease characterized by common 'flu' symptoms like coughing, runny nose, sneezing, fever, sore throat, headache, chills and body aches. IAVs infect a variety of avian and mammalian species; when an IAV infects a pig it is commonly referred to as 'swine influenza' (SIV), or IAV-S. The ADDL tests surveillance and clinical diagnostic samples for IAV-S; in 2019, 5,640 RT-qPCRs were performed for IAV-S. If an accession produced at least one IAV-S-positive sample, subtyping was performed to determine if the IAV-S was a H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, or H3N1 subtype. Peak IAV-S detection occurred in March-May 2019. The following chart summarizes IAV-S subtyping test totals for 2019:

IAV-S 2019

In 2019, of 152 samples tested, 65.13% were H1N1, 25.66% were H3N2, 5.26% were H1N2, and 2.63% were H3N1. Two samples were considered "mixed", with multiple subtypes detected.


IAV-S samples with a characterized subtype then underwent whole genome sequencing (WGS) using next generation sequencing technology to further characterize the virus. WGS identified 9 IAV-S genomic constellations circulating on Ohio pig farms in 2019, including an emerging human-origin H3N2 IAV on several farms.


Be on the lookout for an ADDL Resource Page providing additional information about IAV-S, including more details about what is circulating on Ohio pig farms!

Beef Expo

Beef Expo

Anne Parkinson, BS, ADDL Serology and Central Receiving  Section Head

The 33rd Annual Ohio Beef Expo is set to begin on March 19th, running through March 22nd at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. The ADDL is reminding practitioners and owners to plan ahead to meet testing requirements by confirming the show’s health requirements here, and by verifying tests, test schedules, and test fees at the ADDL here. One critical point for practitioners to remember when submitting is that samples need to be received IN laboratory the day BEFORE the listed test day in order to be completed on time. The ADDL stands ready to meet the testing needs of clients participating in the Expo by providing testing services that meet the show’s health requirements for qualification and by reporting results within 24 hours of sample receipt. Please contact the ADDL at 614-728-6220 for further information regarding testing for the Ohio Beef Expo.

Mary Beth Weisner Retires After 31 Years of Service

Anne Parkinson, BS, ADDL Serology and Central Receiving  Section Head

After 31 years in the ADDL, Mary Beth Weisner, Laboratory Scientist 3 has retired – effective December 31, 2019. During the span of her career, Mary Beth has served in the Virology, Avian Serology, and Bacteriology Sections of the ADDL and entered public service as a Laboratory Scientist 1 and rose to her current Laboratory Scientist 3 position in the Bacteriology Section. Her reputation for impeccable work, outstanding attention to clients’ needs, and knowledge of veterinary microbiology directly contributed to the success of the ADDL and will be sorely missed. Mary Beth was honored for her years of dedicated public service to the livestock and poultry industries in the State of Ohio with a retirement reception in the ADDL, where she was presented with a commendation from Governor Mike DeWine by ODA Director Dorothy Pelanda, seen in the picture below.

Mary Beth and Director Dorothy Pelanda

Department of Agriculture Director Dorothy Pelanda and Mary Beth Weisner

Employee Updates at ADDL

The ADDL recently welcomed two new additions to the team: Ashley Sawyer joined the Molecular Diagnostics Lab and Mary Ellen Sullivan is our new Pathology Assistant. Dr. Dominika Jurkovic was also promoted to Laboratory Scientist 3 in the Bacteriology Lab.


Dominika graduated from Marietta College in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. In 2012 she completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Microbiology at Miami University researching pathogenesis of Mycoplasma infections. For the past 5 years as a Laboratory Scientist 2 in Bacteriology, she has developed excellent bacterial culture and identification skills to provide our clients with accurate and timely results. Dominika enjoys running, hiking, and photography in her free time.


Ashley received her Bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at Wright State University. She then graduated with an MS in genetics, cell and molecular biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016. Ashley’s research focus was in neurovirology, discovering that Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus infects neurons and oligodendrocytes and may be using the human brain as a latent reservoir (PMCID: PMC5853869). Her laboratory experience encompasses environmental microbiology, biochemistry, organic chemistry, virology, and analytical chemistry. In her spare time, Ashley likes to spend time with her fiancé and two daughters, travel (she traveled to the Ecuadorian Amazon for a course in undergrad), sing, and read classic literature and primary science articles.


New Employees and Promoted Employee

L to R: Mary Ellen Sullivan, Ashley Sawyer, Dr. Dominika Jurkovic


Mary Ellen graduated from University of Findlay with a Bachelor's degree in 2012. She worked and shadowed for many small and large animal hospitals and an equine surgeon as a veterinary assistant after graduation. In December 2019 Mary Ellen graduated from Columbus State's Veterinary Technician Program. During her last five months of school she interned in ADDL's Pathology Section. Mary Ellen is taking the VNTE this spring to be certified as a Veterinary Technician. She recently adopted a separation anxiety dog, named Ace, who is a clinic dog during work days at Amanda Animal Hospital. In her spare time Mary Ellen loves to go on walks with Ace, read, and play video games.

President's Day

Lab Holiday Schedule

The Ohio ADDL will be closed on Monday, February 17th, 2020 in observance of President's Day. 


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