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Laboratory Information and Services
This website will not be updated during a lapse in federal funding. Content on this website will not be current or maintained until funding issues have been resolved.

Laboratory Information and Services

Information regarding the National Veterinary Services Laboratories activities during the shutdown due to a lapse in funding. The National Veterinary Services Laboratories including the laboratories in Ames, IA and the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) on Plum Island, New York will be maintaining a level of staffing during the shutdown to support “exempted” (not funded by annual appropriations) and “excepted” (critical diagnostic program) activities.

The main NVSL number (515-337-7266) will be answered during our normal business hours of 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM Central time throughout the shutdown period, and personnel will be able to direct calls to available employees to help answer questions. Individual Laboratories will also be staffing central laboratory numbers, per the table below. For Foreign Animal Disease emergencies, please contact Dr. Randall Levings at 515-203-1179. Alternative contacts are Dr. Kim Dodd (FADDL Director) at 631-461-3362 or Dr. Beth Lautner (Associate Deputy Administrator, Diagnostics and Biologics) at 515-708-2496. NVSL Main Number 515-337-7266. Dr. Randall Levings, Acting Director, NVSL 515-203-1179. Diagnostic Virology Laboratory 515-337-7551. Diagnostic Bacteriology and Pathology Laboratory 515-337-7526. Diagnostic Bioanalytical and Reagent Laboratory 515-337-7568. Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) 631-323-3256. FADDL-Outside Business Hours 631-405-0218.

All pending laboratory results will be completed and reported for all diagnostic samples received before December 22 for cases at both Ames and Plum Island (FADDL).

NVSL will have personnel at both Ames and FADDL to run tests on samples associated with FAD investigations and other emergency situations. All FAD investigations (Priority 1/A, 2 and 3) will continue to be tested at both FADDL and Ames (FADDL priority 2 and 3 case reports may be slightly delayed - <24 hour delay due to reduced boat schedules). This includes samples submitted from NAHLN laboratories for confirmation.

NVSL will continue to provide testing for all user fee cases (including export testing and CWD testing) and all avian cases (regardless of billing status) on samples received on or after December 22. Please refer to the NVSL Testing Catalog at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/lab_info_services/downloads/AmesDiagnosticTestingCatalog.pdf for assistance in determining which tests are considered billable.

For submitting samples, the portal for electronic submissions remains active at https://ncahappspub.aphis.usda.gov/NCAHPortal/public/

User fee reagents will continue to be provided. Please see “NVSL’s Reagents Catalog” at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/lab-info-services/sa_reagents/ct_reagents for assistance in determining which reagents are billable.

Reagents associated with avian influenza and Newcastle disease testing will continue to be provided.

Tuberculin will continue to be provided for program activities, although some orders may be limited or delayed.

Samples received on or after December 22 for some program disease testing will be tested (e.g. PRV and EIA confirmation); however samples for many other program disease tests (e.g., surveillance programs) will be stored appropriately for testing after the government resumes normal operations. Please contact NVSL if there is a question if the program disease samples will be tested and if there are human health investigations associated with the case.

TB testing will be limited to slaughter surveillance, testing associated with investigations of confirmed outbreaks and user fee testing.

During this lapse in funding, NVSL will provide the services we are able to for our customers and stakeholders. We appreciate your patience on the delays as we maintain essential activities with reduced staffing levels.

Our website will not be updated but remains available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/nvsl

National Veterinary Services Laboratories
APHIS laboratory services are provided by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa and Orient Point (Plum Island), New York. The NVSL provides a wide variety of information and services, centered around diagnosis of domestic and foreign animal diseases, support of disease control and eradication programs, reagents for diagnostic testing, training, and laboratory certification.

NVSL Submission Forms
This section contains downloadable laboratory-related forms.

Diagnostic Testing
Authorized individuals may submit specimens to the NVSL facilities for diagnostic testing. This section describes the types of tests performed at the NVSL and provides instructions for submitting samples. Includes statement regarding ownership of specimens. 

Reagents and Proficiency Tests
Diagnostic reagents are produced by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories as needed when a commercial source of reagent is not available or when commercial sources are not fulfilling diagnostic needs. This section contains a list of available reagents, including proficiency tests, and instructions for ordering.

Frequently Asked Questions About Testing and Reagents

Approved Laboratories
Some diagnostic testing may be conducted by APHIS-approved state, federal, or private laboratories. This section includes lists of laboratories currently approved by APHIS to conduct specific tests.

Diagnostic Training
The NVSL provides a variety of courses on diagnostic testing, specimen collection, and disease recognition. This section describes courses and instructions to register for a course.

National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN)
The NAHLN is part of a nationwide strategy to coordinate the work of all organizations providing veterinary surveillance and testing services.

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