At the ready to help the local community process more coronavirus tests, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Colorado State University is bringing its expertise in animal disease surveillance into the human health world.
The laboratory conducts over 600,000 tests annually, helping identify and diagnose a variety of animal diseases for veterinarians, livestock producers, pet owners, government agencies, and animal-health companies. From a technological perspective, adding SARS-CoV-2 testing to its repertoire of capabilities is actually pretty simple. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. “We respond to animal disease outbreaks often,” said Kristy Pabilonia, director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “What we do here on a daily basis uses the same processes and technology for animal testing as those used for human testing.” In their Biosafety Level 3 facility, a special laboratory for testing highly infectious bacteria and viruses, high-throughput testing equipment can test 96 samples at a time, multiple times a day. The diagnostic test, called a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay, detects a virus’s nucleic acid (SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus) in each sample to determine if the virus is present. READ MORE>>>