By: TVMDL, The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
PREPARED TO ACT
When it comes to preparing Texas and the Southwest for disaster, TVMDL has an important role to play. TVMDL is part of the 59- member National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), and one of the 12 original laboratories in the network. NAHLN comprises regional and state veterinary diagnostic laboratories in 42 states and provides nationwide animal disease surveillance and surge capacity for testing, response and recovery in the event of an animal disease outbreak.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) oversees NAHLN. NVSL has two facilities, one in Ames, Iowa, and the other at Plum Island, New York, to handle testing for foreign animal and high consequence diseases.
In the event of a foreign animal or high consequence disease outbreak, animal samples would be sent to NVSL for testing. However, the number of tests requested would quickly overwhelm these lab’s capacities. NAHLN-member laboratories would then be activated to test the influx of samples and ensure timely results for animal owners, emergency responders, and other decision makers.
Our Commitment to NAHLN
To prepare for and be eligible for membership in the NAHLN, TVMDL has invested in training and facilities and maintains multiple accreditations and certifications.
In College Station and Amarillo, TVMDL operates the only two high-containment, biosafety level 3 laboratories in Texas that are specifically dedicated to testing for animal diseases that pose significant threats to the agriculture economy and to public health.
TVMDL professionals receive the same training and certification as other NAHLN laboratories across the country, ensuring standardized methods that meet national requirements. Professionals at TVMDL are certified to perform testing for the following foreign animal diseases:
- Avian Influenza
- Chronic Wasting Disease/Scrapie
- Classical Swine Fever
- Foot-and-Mouth Disease
- Exotic Newcastle Disease
- Influenza A Virus in Swine
- Pseudorabies Virus
- Vesicular Stomatitis
TVMDL works with NAHLN not only in the case of an emergency, but also on a regular basis. TVMDL conducts thousands of surveillance tests each year for the early detection of high-consequence pathogens that affect public health, animal health and the agriculture economy. Our ability to provide rapid, early and accurate diagnoses is vital to our role as a NAHLN lab.
This network of laboratories help each other by sharing resources and expertise. Cooperation between agencies is key to a seamless activation of emergency measures should the US face an animal disease emergency.
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