The Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) is part of the only facility in the United States where many infectious foreign animal disease (FAD) agents are studied. It is located on Plum Island, which is 1.5 miles off the northeastern end of Long Island, New York. Scientists at the FADDL are devoted to diagnosing foreign diseases of animals. They partner with scientists of the Department of Homeland Security and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, also located on Plum Island, in foreign animal disease research.
Additionally, the FADDL is the custodian of the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Antigen Bank. The Bank stores concentrated FMD antigen that can be formulated into vaccines if an FMD introduction occurs. The bank is co-owned by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Personnel working in the vaccine bank are responsible for performing safety and potency testing of new antigen lots of FMD vaccine, and periodically testing the quality of stored antigen.
The FADDL is composed of three sections: Diagnostic Services, Reagents and Vaccine Services, and the Proficiency and Validation Section. Scientists in the Diagnostic Services Section have the capability to diagnose more than 30 exotic animal diseases (including FMD, classical swine fever, African swine fever, and other diseases listed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and they perform thousands of diagnostic tests each year, looking for the presence of FAD agents. Tissue and blood samples to be tested are submitted by veterinarians suspecting an exotic disease in domestic livestock or by animal import centers testing quarantined animals for foreign diseases. Samples also are submitted by animal health professionals in other countries who need help with a diagnosis. The FADDL is a Reference Laboratory for the OIE and a Reference Centre for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO). Click here for more details.
The Reagents and Vaccine Services Section provides diagnostic reagents, assays, vaccines and other services for identification, control, and eradication of foreign animal diseases. The section is responsible for production and quality testing of reagents used at FADDL in diagnostic assays. It also participates in safety and potency evaluations of potential vaccines against foreign animal diseases.
The Proficiency and Validation Section develops and validates diagnostic technologies that can be deployed to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and/or used at the NVSL reference laboratories. The section is responsible for a training and proficiency testing program for the NAHLN and collaborates with the Department of Homeland Security National Bioforensics Analysis Center to maintain and execute agricultural forensics capabilities.
The FADDL provides training to State, Federal, and foreign officials in the clinical and laboratory diagnosis of foreign animal diseases.
The foreign animal disease work done by FADDL is scheduled to be moved from Plum Island to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, to be built in Manhattan, Kansas.
FADDL contact information:
Director: Dr. Fernando Torres-Velez
Fax: (631) 323-3366
Diagnostic Services Section
Head: Dr. Karyn Havas
Phone: (631) 323-3197
Reagents and Vaccine Services Section
Head: Dr. Wei Jia
Phone: (631) 323-3344