May 2021 Ohio Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -   May 2021

In This Issue

- Reminder to Vaccinate Against EEE & WNV

- SARS-CoV-2 PCR available

- New Employee Spotlight

Contact us

Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

8995 East Main Street Building #6

Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Phone: (614) 728-6220

Fax: (614 ) 728-6310


ADDL Hours

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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Reminder to Vaccinate Horses Against EEE & WNV Diseases

Lauren Cain, RVT, MS, ADDL Veterinary Pathology Assistant


Mosquito season is almost here, and this has often led to serious arbovirus-related neurologic disease and death in Ohio horses due to West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in past years. The ADDL supports clinicians in reminding the public that the most effective way to prevent these diseases in horses is to have their animals vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian. These viruses are transmitted primarily by mosquitos, and now is the time to remind your clients to vaccinate their horses and allow immunity to build before mosquito season gets into full swing. A two-shot vaccination series three- to six-weeks apart is recommended if a horse has not been vaccinated in the past year. Ohio cases of WNV and EEE in horses historically have occurred late August to mid-October. While cases in Ohio declined in 2019 and 2020, as recently as 2018 there were more than 50 confirmed cases of West Nile virus, several resulting in death. This demonstrates how severe this disease can be, and vaccines against these viruses are regarded as core vaccinations by the American Veterinary Medical Association. For more information see the American Association of Equine Practitioners website.


The ADDL offers rapid, highly sensitive PCR testing of equine brain tissue and blood to detect the presence of EEE and WNV viral nucleic acid. The ADDL partners with NVSL for serological testing of animals - if you are interested in serology testing, please call the lab for more information (614-728-6220).




An additional step to minimize transmission of these diseases is to control the mosquito population by eliminating standing water in tires, water baths, and other sources. These diseases are transmissible to humans. People should take steps to guard themselves against mosquitoes by applying mosquito repellent, avoiding being outdoors during peak mosquito feeding times, and wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants.

Test Updates

SARS-CoV-2 PCR Now Available

Melanie Prarat, MS, ADDL Central Receiving Section Head and Virology Section Researcher


ADDL now offers testing for rapid PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, in animal samples. Accepted sample types include respiratory specimens (nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal aspirates, swabs). The PCR costs $72 and is performed Monday thru Friday.


Routine testing of animals for SARS-CoV-2 is not currently recommended. The decision to test an animal, including companion animals, livestock or production animals, zoo animals, or wild animals (both captive and free-ranging), should be agreed upon using a One Health approach with the appropriate local, state, and/or federal public health and animal health officials. If you want to submit a sample for SARS-CoV-2 testing, please call the lab first. 


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New Employee Spotlight: Robert Miller

Robert Miller

Earlier this year, Robert Miller joined the Molecular Diagnostics Section of ADDL. Robert graduate from the University of Akron with a Bachelor’s degree (2010) and Master’s degree (2014) in Biology. In 2019 he completed his Doctoral degree in Integrated Bioscience at the University of Akron researching bioremediation and biocorrosion. During his graduate studies, Robert collaborated with the Air Force Research Lab in Wright Patterson Air Force Base on biocorrosion research. In his free time, Robert enjoys traveling, exploring nature, and spending time with his family and miniature pinscher, Zoey.


The Ohio ADDL will be closed on Monday, May 31, 2021 in observance of Memorial Day. 


If you need to contact us regarding an urgent matter, please use our after hours phone number: (888) 456-3405.