Volume V6 | June 2023

Laboratory Diagnosticians' News Matters

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AAVLD Executive Director Message

NBAF Dedication: Completes a vision from 20 years ago.

David H. Zeman, DVM, PhD, DACVP

Last month, food animal agricultural leaders were invited to Manhattan KS for the Official Dedication & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the USDA National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). Several AAVLD, USAHA and USDA officials were present on a sunny warm May morning. The facility is on a ridge adjacent to the campus of Kansas State University, overlooking the football stadium. It was a day to celebrate, a day envisioned over 20 years earlier by animal agricultural leaders… wishing to ensure that America’s food animal supply was safe, secure, and abundant for our citizens.

Flashback to that era around the turn of the century, when the FMD outbreak in Europe was devastating their food animal production and when 911 soberly reminded us that our national enemies would literally stop at nothing to harm us. Animal agricultural leaders wisely surmised that they needed to assess our situation and our vulnerabilities. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) coordinated the effort to conduct a comprehensive national Animal Health Safeguard Review. Many members of AAVLD and USAHA led and served on key committees, and after about a year of meeting, deliberating, and writing…our vulnerabilities were well understood, and a vision forward was laid out to strengthen our ability to continue to feed the nation food animal protein and products.

Some major goals were laid out in the Safeguard Review and tackled summarily:

  • Our NVSL facilities were woefully deficient and worn out… AAVLD, USAHA and producer groups advocated diligently (spent political capital) and the modernization of NVSL Ames was completed; now a state-of-the-art national reference lab.
  • The working relationship between the state animal labs and the national reference labs (NVSL) needed to be more intense and purposeful. In 2001 AAVDL and NVSL signed a MOU laying out the mutually agreed upon goal of developing a national strategy that ensured adequate (capacity) and high quality (accreditation) veterinary diagnostic services were in place nationwide. The development of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) was among the first action items from that MOU and the working relationship is currently excellent and efficient. About 60 AAVLD accredited labs are part of the NAHLN.
  • Many state animal health diagnostic labs were also rapidly aging, and many states completed projects to renovate or build new state-of-the-art state diagnostic laboratories.
  • And lastly, Plum Island and the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) and associated research facilities were seriously aging. Other nations were placing such facilities on the mainland using technology (versus isolation) as a means to make their labs biosecure and accessible to diagnosticians and researchers. The dedication of NBAF will ultimately bring the activities of plum island to NBAF…our first BSL4 food animal research facility for large animals, where vaccines and diagnostic tests, as well as training can be conducted efficiently next to a major land grant university. 

So, the dedication of the beautiful $1.25B NABAF facility is the capstone fulfillment of a 20-year vision to make the USA animal health diagnostic and research laboratory system second to none in the world. We are poised well to face the production health challenges of feeding a growing national and world population. Thank you to all who have toiled for years to advocate for this momentous day!

Annual Meeting Registration opens in July.

Please look out for the date of open registration in July. Date coming soon.

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AAVLD Trainee Travel Awards Trainees in a Master's, PhD or residency program enrolled in all disciplines in veterinary diagnostic medicine, including epidemiology, immunology, microbiology (bacteriology, food safety, mycology and virology), molecular diagnostics, parasitology, pathology and toxicology, are encouraged to apply. 

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The AAVLD / USAHA meeting is a remarkable opportunity for trainees interested in diagnostic pathology to learn and develop professional networks that will be helpful throughout their career. Trainees are encouraged to attend and present scientific papers, case presentations and posters. Competitive travel awards of $1,750.00 are awarded to trainees who present scientific papers at the meeting.

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  • AAVLD/ACVM Dr. David Bemis Microbiology Trainee Travel Award
  • J. Lindsay Oaks Best Student Molecular Biology Presentation Award
  • Richard Walker Best Student Bacteriology Presentation Award
  • Brenda Love Best Student Bacteriology Poster Award

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This award recognizes an individual who is retired and has made major contributions in a career of diagnostic virology. The Virology Committee solicits nominations and selects the awardee(s) when qualified candidates are available. At the annual meeting, a plaque is presented to the awardee during the Virology Committee meeting.

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The Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation (JVDI) is the official journal of the AAVLD. Each year, the awards committee selects two published manuscripts for awards in the following categories. Application is not necessary; all published manuscripts are considered eligible.

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One awarded every year (for best oral and poster presentation), $400 check (for the best oral presentation), in AAVLD newsletter, on web page. $100 (for the best poster), in AAVLD newsletter, on web page. Awarded to the persons delivering the best oral and the best poster presentation on a molecular diagnostics & bioinformatics topic at the AAVLD annual meeting. 

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2023 Videos worth watching

2023 Speaker video

2023 AAVLD Presidents Message

Eric Burrough, DVM, PhD

Join AAVLD Committees

Functions of AAVLD Committees

Committees serve multiple functions that are essential to the AAVLD mission. This includes dissemination of the latest scientific information that will advance the many disciplines engaged with diagnostic medicine, including:

AAVLD will soon offer a 'Committee Membership Enrollment Form'. Coming soon.

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2023 Plenary Session

Andrew T. Maccabe, DVM, MPH, JD Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges. He received his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from The Ohio State University in 1981 and 1985, respectively, and began his professional career working in a mixed animal practice with primary emphasis on dairy herd health.

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Ultimate Diagnostics: Poisons & Path-Wildlife Edition

Ultimate Diagnostics. Poisons & Path - Wildlife Addition

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2023 Identification of Protozoan

Identification of Protozoan and Metazoan Parasites in Tissue Section

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AVMA Convention

Veterinarians and veterinary technicians from all over the U.S. attend the AVMA Convention for top-notch education, networking, and other events.

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AAVLD Labs in the News

Lab Director Lanny Pace Retires from MSU

Professor Lanny Pace, DVM, PhD, DACVP, longtime lab director and AAVLD leader, has recently retired from Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Laboratory System. 

Pace has been executive director of the laboratory system for over 23 years. He has been active in many professional associations but especially with the AAVLD. He served on the Accreditation Committee for 10 years, chaired the Financial Advisory Committee for 6 years, served as the SE Representative on the Executive Board for 6 years, cochaired the Laboratory Directors Committee and the Government Relations Committee for two years each, and participated in several other committees. 

The stature of the MSU animal health system has grown significantly over his years as leader. His leadership and friendship will be missed and AAVLD wishes him the very best in his retirement years!   

    Special thanks to our many sponsors who helped make the meeting possible.

The NEUSAHA, NEAAVLD along with the Northeast Oral Wildlife Rabies Vaccination Group held their 2023 joint regional meeting this past April 23-26 in Portsmouth, NH.

Over 80 attendees participated in this meeting over the 3 days.  In addition to the joint sessions, breakouts were also held for each of the groups.   With about 25 speakers presenting, a broad range of timely topics were covered along with important USDA and regional updates. 

Additional social events included a presentation about Portsmouth Harbor during the banquet, a live animal exhibit at a local museum, a tour of an SPF sheep farm, and tour of the NH Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. 

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 Special thanks to our many sponsors who helped make the meeting possible.

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Bring on the news!

AAVLD Membership, please send your laboratory news to Dave Zeman, Executive Director dzeman@aavld.org

JVDI in Focus

Postpartum clostridial gangrenous metritis in 12 dairy goats in France, Dorso et al.

Abstract. Clostridial infections in goats have been associated frequently with enteric diseases or gas gangrene but very rarely with the reproductive system. We describe here 12 cases of fatal postpartum gangrenous metritis in does associated with infection by several clostridial species. Clinically, these cases were characterized by rapid onset of hyperthermia followed by death after kidding. On postmortem examination, the uteri appeared to be necrotic and were hemorrhagic and edematous. More

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The Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation is the official journal of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. The mission of the Journal is to educate by informing readers of progress in veterinary laboratory medicine and related fields of endeavor. The key objectives of the JVDI are to promote the science of veterinary laboratory medicine and the betterment of animal and public health. JVDI fully supports diversity, equity, and inclusion in our publishing activities.

Editor-in-chief, Dr. Grant Maxie / https://journals.sagepub.com/home/VDI

Worth Quoting

The key word for June is SERVICE:

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.

~Herman Melville

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

~Rabindranath Tagore

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

~Muhammad Ali

Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.

~Margaret Chase Smith

Source: BrainyQuote


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2022 Annual Meeting Gallery

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2022 Scientific Sessions video presentations available for viewing.

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  • Annual Meeting Proceedings
  • Annual Meeting Scientific Presentations (Video and PDF Posters)
  • Plenary Sessions
  • Testimonials

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2024 Renewals are due by November 15!

'Membership is January to December'

AAVLD membership is open to any individual interested in the disciplines and activities of veterinary diagnostic laboratories. Membership terms are by calendar year (January-December) and membership dues are payable by November 15th of the preceding year (to ensure inclusion in the annual membership directory, eligibility for committee involvement, and receipt of all six issues of the JVDI). Note: In order to receive a discounted rate for the Annual Meeting registration, you are required to be a current AAVLD Member.
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AAVLD & News Worthy Events

2022 Student Travel and

Student Competitive Awardees

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Up and Coming!

AAVLD Accreditation Committee Meeting

July 31, 2023

AAVLD Executive Board Meeting

August 2, 2023

2023 AAVLD/ USAHA Annual Meeting

Thursday, October 12, 2023 - Wednesday, October 18, 2023

AAVLD Meeting Calendar

Do you have ideas to improve the AAVLD annual meeting? Contact David Zeman dzeman@aavld.org

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Would like to make a year-end donation to the AAVLD Foundation?  Make your donation today!

What ever your contribution to the AAVLD mission, we need you!

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Thank you

2023 Annual Meeting Sponsors

The generous contributions and participation by our Exhibitors and Sponsors is a huge part of our conference success year after year. On behalf of the AAVLD, we would like to thank these companies for their commitment to our organization and helping us to achieve our mission.

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AAVLD Foundation Committee


Brett Webb- Cochair

Francois Elvinger- Cochair

Bruce Akey, Tim Baszler, Beate Crossley, Francois Elvinger, Pat Halbur, Christie Mayo, Donal O'Toole, Kristy Pabilonia, Jamie Retallick, Kerry Sondgeroth, Brett Webb, David Zeman and Ashley Hill

Foundation Donation
The AAVLD Foundation is a non-profit foundation that raises funds for the advancement of veterinary diagnostic laboratory disciplines through scholarship programs, student travel support to our scientific meeting, guest lectures, seminars, professional awards and research programs. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible 501(c)(3), and can be paid when you renew your AAVLD membership. Thank you for remembering your AAVLD Foundation!
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