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About Us

The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) includes several Lab Sections within the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division.

The ADDL Mission

  • Provide high caliber veterinary diagnostic services to Ohio's veterinarians and livestock producers
  • Implement policies and procedures to ensure that test results are timely, accurate, complete, and meet the needs of our clients and to comply with the ISO/IEC Standard 17025 and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Requirements for an Accredited Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Provide diagnostic services to support national disease surveillance programs in concert with state and federal partners
  • Develop state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and techniques
  • Encourage a 'One Health' approach to animal, environment and public health
  • Strive to facilitate global marketability and sustainability of Ohio and national agribusinesses
  • Training scientists, graduate students, veterinarians and veterinary technicians

Laboratory Networks

  • USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network - Level 1 Laboratory
  • FDA Vet-Laboratory Investigation Response Network - Regional Sequencing Laboratory
  • FDA International GenomeTrakr Network

Our History

In August of 1940, past Director of Agriculture, John T. Brown said, "Today, America's frontier is in the laboratory, with scientists whose alchemy is constantly bringing closer and closer the interdependence of agriculture and industry".

The Division of Animal Industry was one of seven original divisions established with creation of the Ohio Department of Agriculture on February 28, 1846. This agency preceded the establishment of the USDA by the Federal government by sixteen years.

In 1912, penal labor was used to construct what was then called the Ohio Serum Institute, under the auspices of the Ohio State University (OSU) and Ohio Agricultural Research and Developmental Center (OARDC). It was here that the Division of Animal Industry joined OSU and OARDC in conducting hog cholera research and eventually perfected a serum for hog cholera, which threatened Ohio's large swine industry. In 1952, OSU and OARDC transferred the "Serum Farm" to ODA.

In 1957, Dr. H.E. Goldstein, past State Veterinarian, Chief of the Division of Animal Industry and Deputy Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, joined with other "dedicated and visionary individuals" to establish the Conference of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, now known as AAVLD. Dr. Goldstein, in cooperation with individuals such as Paul Bennett, William Sippel, E.E. Pope, Raymond Bankowski and Lawrence Morehouse, became the "founding fathers" of AAVLD. The first Memorandum of Agreement between the CVLD and the USLSA was entered into during Dr. Goldstein's term as chairman/president of CVLD/AAVLD, in 1963.

For many years the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory primarily focused on laboratory support testing for regulatory animal disease control programs, such as hog cholera, scabies, brucellosis, tuberculosis, and pseudorabies. Ohio has maintained a leadership position with regulatory disease control programs. The laboratory provided the foundation for testing and surveillance validation for these programs. In 1992, emphasis was focused moved to providing diagnostic laboratory services including companion and preventive herd health diagnostic services. Cooperative efforts which network resources with OSU, OARDC, and ODA, had been strengthened. The ADDL received full AAVLD Accreditation in October of 1999. Funding needed to bring laboratory operations up to a competitive level, restructuring the state classification system, program overhauls, staff developments, and additional capital appropriations for an expanded pathology laboratory, placed ODA in a position to compete as one of finest animal disease diagnostic laboratories in the nation. The ADDL has since expanded and developed its role in animal agriculture by joining the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service National Animal Health Laboratory Network and now provides surveillance testing for scrapie, chronic wasting disease, avian influenza, Exotic Newcastle disease and Contagious Equine Metritis. The ADDL now provides local capacity for rapid response to potential disease outbreaks. The ADDL continued laboratory expansion in 2004 and 2005 with the addition of a biosafety level three laboratory and alkaline hydrolysis unit. Tremendous strides in developing molecular diagnostic assays for rapid and sensitive detection of animal pathogens have also been made with over 80 molecular assays available to ADDL clients.  In 2014, the ADDL procured an Illumina MiSeq next generation sequencing instrument that is used for rapid whole genome sequencing of bacterial and viral pathogens.

Government, industry and Ohio's veterinary practitioners have been supportive of the realization that more can be done for preventive proactive animal health from the laboratory, rather than that of the field approach of years gone by. Ohio has elevated its ability to provide quality credible veterinary diagnostic laboratory services.

Ohio Department of Agriculture