Welcome to the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) is a full-service veterinary diagnostic laboratory offering more than 800 tests in 11 service sections. In the more than 30 years since its inception, MSU VDL has become one of the country's premier veterinary diagnostic laboratories, handling more than 220,000 cases involving approximately 1.5 million tests annually.

The MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is an invaluable professional resource, making quality, trusted, and comprehensive veterinary diagnostics widely available. Income from the laboratory is reinvested in teaching, research, and outreach for the purpose of protecting human and animal welfare domestically and around the world.

Spring 2018 Newsletter
News Archives

Each issue of Diagnostic News, the MSU VDL quarterly newsletter for clients, offers diagnostic- and disease-related information and articles for practitioners, as well as VDL business tips and updates for clinic staff.

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Archives of past newsletters are still available.

Coxiella burnetti Infections in Michigan Sheep & Goats
Although lambing season is winding down, the MSU VDL would like to alert practitioners to some recent small ruminant abortion cases in the state. Recently the laboratory has received specimens from cases of sheep and goat abortions that were positive for Coxiella burnetti, the agent that causes Q fever in humans.

Organisms are shed at parturition and in the milk and feces. Abortions tend to occur late in gestation, and weak lambs and kids may be born during an outbreak. The aborted fetus may be well preserved or autolyzed, and although histologic lesions may be seen in both the placenta and fetus, gross lesions are limited to the placenta. Grossly the placenta may be thickened and/or "leathery" with areas of mineralization. Specimens (fetus and placenta) may be submitted to the VDL as a necropsy abortion (Code 30022). Currently, the MSU VDL performs Coxiella testing only as part of a necropsy abortion.

From Producer Disease Awareness on U.S. Sheep Operations, 2011 (USDA APHIS Veterinary Services Info Sheet, June 2015):

Q fever is an infection caused by the intracellular gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii, found worldwide (except in New Zealand). Also called coxiellosis, the bacteria can infect a wide range of hosts, but the primary reservoirs are sheep, goats, and cattle. The disease is not generally considered problematic in animals, but it can cause abortion storms in sheep and goats and also poses a public health risk as it is zoonotic. When asked, the majority of sheep producers had never heard of Q fever or had heard of the name only (82.8 percent).

More information about Q fever in humans can be found on the CDC Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/qfever/index.html

MSU VDL Spring/Summer Holiday Hours
The MSU VDL will be closed on the spring/summer holidays listed below due to lack of U.S. Mail and commercial delivery service (UPS, FedEx, DHL). To avoid delay of your testing requests, please keep this in mind when shipping specimens. For advice on shipping time or temperature sensitive samples around these holidays, please contact the laboratory.

Memorial Day - May 28, 2018 (Monday)
Fourth of July - July 4, 2018 (Wednesday)
Labor Day - September 23, 2018 (Monday)

The Clinical Pathology laboratory, located in the Veterinary Medical Center (VMC), will be open on these holidays from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. to help support the VMC's 24/7/365 service.

Thank you for choosing the MSU VDL for your veterinary diagnostic needs. We wish you safe and happy holidays!
AAVLD Fully accredited by the
American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
through December 31, 2022
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