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Diagnostic Testing at the NVSL

The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has laboratories in two locations: Ames, Iowa and the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at Plum Island, New York. Diagnostic test services range from a single laboratory test to comprehensive laboratory services covering many pathogens for a suspected disease outbreak. Click the links below to view the services conducted at each location. 

General Specimen Submission Form VS 10-4

Text in the following PDF-format catalogs is fully searchable. When the catalog displays, click the Search feature (binoculars icon) in the Adobe Acrobat toolbar or CTRL + F to type in keywords. 

Ames, IA Diagnostic Catalog

NEW 5/22/2013: The NVSL accepts submissions for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) PCR testing that have been evaluated in submitting labs for differential diagnoses, such as TGEV and rotavirus, and have a strong suspicion for PEDV.   The NVSL will not perform differential testing on PEDV submissions.  Samples will be tested using our in-house nested PCR assay and reported as positive or negative.  The NVSL will perform sequencing and/or virus isolation on selected samples.  Submissions should include feces (at least 2 ml) from acute clinical cases, fecal swabs (in viral transport media), and fresh intestines.   Ship samples on ice packs for overnight delivery.  Please contact Dr. John Schiltz at 515 337 7551 or John.J.Schiltz@aphis.usda.gov prior to submitting samples for PEDV. Laboratories interested in obtaining the NVSL nested PCR procedure can contact Dr. Sabrina Swenson (sabrina.l.swenson@aphis.usda.gov) or Dr. Beverly Schmitt (beverly.j.schmitt@aphis.usda.gov)

Plum Island, NY (FADDL) Diagnostic Catalog 

Current user fee rates (9CFR 130.14-19) 

Unfamiliar with an abbreviation or acronym in the catalogs? Click here for catalog definitions (PDF, 20K)

Unfamiliar with an abbreviation used in a diagnostic test report? Click here for report definitions (PDF, 7K)

Click here for animal health information

Submitting Diagnostic Samples to the NVSL

Please note:  Samples received on weekends, on holidays, and after hours are refrigerated until the next business day, unless previous arrangements have been made with the laboratories.

Ownership of Specimens: All diagnostic specimens and all agents/isolates submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL), will become the property of the NVSL unless arrangements are made in writing at, or prior to, the time of submission. Proprietary restrictions must be stated at, or prior to, the time of submission.

Primate Samples: The NVSL will receive primate samples for serology, bacterial culture, and histopathology ONLY.  The NVSL will not accept primate samples for diagnosis of any suspected viral etiology.  

PLEASE CONTACT THE LAB (515-337-7388 or
NVSLCaseCoordinator@aphis.usda.gov) PRIOR TO SUBMITTING PRIMATE SAMPLES AND PROVIDE THE TRACKING NUMBER OF THE SHIPMENT. Having prior notice will help ensure proper handling and the safety of our staff.  This policy does not apply to Salmonella cultures originating from primates, which may be sent without prior notification.

Quality Assurance at the NVSL

The NVSL Quality Management System is accredited to ISO 17025, ISO 17043, and ISO Guide 34. Click here to learn more about the NVSL Quality Management System and the scope of accreditation.

APHIS-Approved Laboratories

Testing for certain types of diseases is required to be performed at either NVSL or APHIS-approved, non-USDA facilities. Click to see facilities approved to perform corresponding tests.

Additional Information