CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Oregon State University has received full accreditation for the next five years from the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

The accreditation team conducted a three-day site visit in August to OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine and issued its decision this week.

The laboratory is an important regional facility, providing a range of animal disease diagnostic services to veterinarians, livestock producers, pet owners, biomedical researchers, and state and federal agencies. In addition to its service function, the laboratory shares in the training of future veterinarians by providing instruction in laboratory-based diagnostic medicine.

In recent years, the laboratory has played an increasingly important role in helping the region monitor for "zoonotic" diseases, or those that can be transferred from animals to humans. The OSU laboratory is the official testing site in Oregon for animals suspected of carrying West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, avian flu, rabies and other diseases.

It also provides diagnostic service needs in the area of food safety, biosafety and agroterrorism.

"The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory provides a critical service to the state and region, and the quality of its work has been validated by the accreditation committee," said Cyril Clarke, dean of OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine. "Its endorsement is a testimony to the hard work of director Jerry Heidel and his staff, whose dedication is extraordinary."

More than 16,000 animal tissue and fluid specimens are received annually by the laboratory for diagnostic evaluation. The laboratory provides a variety of diagnostic procedures, including necropsy, histopathology, virology, bacteriology, clinical pathology, serology and toxicology.

It also plays an ongoing role in continuing education for Northwest veterinarians.


Jerry Heidel,

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