pig snout vesicle

UPDATE Dec 2, 2016

Since July 1 2016, the UMN VDL has seen 45 cases of Senecavirus A.

Producers and veterinarians are reminded to remain vigilant and report vesicular lesions to federal or state animal health officials.

For more information see the Seneca Valley Virus disease information page

Images below are from a UMN VDL case.


The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is investing in the latest technology for genetic sequencing. Sequencing the genetic material (DNA or RNA) of infectious agents can be a powerful tool for identifying an agent, for monitoring the changes in a disease agent and for the discovery of new or emerging diseases. The high throughput methods of next-generation sequencing can decrease costs and increase speed of identification.

Dr. Talita Resende, a PhD student advised by Dr. Fabio Vannucci, won the award for best poster at the 24th International Pig Veterinary Society (IVPS) congress held in Dublin, Ireland earlier this month. Her poster was titled "A novel diagnostic platform for in situ detection and subtyping of Rotaviruses and Influenza A in pigs". To see the poster go to the UMN swine group blog.

Over the last 7 years the USDA has conducted surveillance for swine influenza virus (IAV-S) and has reimbursed clients for testing costs. In order to conserve funding for this program while maintaining effective surveillance the following changes have been made to the program:

  • Discontinuation of USDA reimbursement for the Matrix PCR screening test

              Reimbursements will continue for subtyping PCRs, virus isolation and sequencing as described below.

State Funding Will Expand, Enhance Veterinary Diagnostic Services

SAINT PAUL-MINNEAPOLIS – (6/1/16) – Animal owners throughout Minnesota will benefit from new state funding provided to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. State legislators authored and Governor Dayton signed legislation to provide nearly $2.1 million to expand and enhance the laboratory’s services.

Since April 2016 the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) has confirmed three cases of Tularemia in Minnesota.

Tularemia is a naturally occurring disease of wildlife, particularly rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents.  It is a disease that both people and animals can get through tick and fly bites or contact with infected animals.

The VDL currently has a position open for a poultry diagnostician. The position is based at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) in Willmar Minnesota. The MPTL, a satellite laboratory of the VDL,  conducts testing for the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) poultry serology and bacteriology, and is the center for management of Board of Animal Health (BAH) poultry programs. The MPTL also performs fee for testing services.

The Serology laboratory at MVDL will start offering Parachek 2 ELISA for detection of antibodies against Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (Johne’s disease) in serum samples of sheep and goats. The test kit is imported from Europe and was recently validated in our lab. Results of 45 serum samples were compared with those obtained from Johne’s Information Center at University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine at Madison, WI. There was 89% agreement between the two labs (Kappa=0.77). Analysis of results on samples tested in duplicate revealed 96% agreement (Kappa=0.90).

The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UMN VDL) worked in collaboration with the Minnesota National Guard, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to help prepare the Minnesota National Guard mobile laboratory to respond to an outbreak of avian influenza.  The Unit is now equipped with a Cephid Smart Cycler system which will help the unit quickly detect the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus.

Economically motivated adulteration or “food fraud” is the intentional alteration of food products for economic gain. In fish, this often involves substituting a cheaper species of fish for a more expensive species or intentionally mislabeling the production method used (i.e wild caught versus farm raised).  A recent study of restaurants and grocery stores in Minnesota demonstrated an overall identification accuracy rate for halibut as 86.4%, for tuna as 82.6% for salmon as 92.7% and walleye as 98.2%.