Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Giovanna Martinez, a research technician in the bacteriology section of the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, examines a bacterial culture plate. (Photo by Sara Plevel)
Giovanna Martinez, a research technician in the bacteriology section of the Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, examines a bacterial culture plate. (Photo by Sara Plevel)

The Arizona Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (AZVDL) is a service unit of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. One of the many research programs that make up the Agricultural Experiment Station, the lab is located at the West Campus Agricultural Center in Tucson.

AZVDL is staffed by six veterinarians with advanced training in the specialty areas of pathology and microbiology. They are assisted by twelve staff with expertise in the areas of information technology, business office administration, specimen receiving, necropsy, bacteriology, serology, molecular diagnostics, cytology, immunohistochemistry and histology. Each of the veterinarians will have faculty appointments in the School of Animal and Comparative Biosciences.

The lab provides testing in support of private veterinarians, livestock producers, companion animal owners, aviculturists, zoos, wildlife agencies, university researchers and state regulatory authorities involved in diagnosing, treating, researching or regulating animal disease. The laboratory team conducts approximately 13,000 tests per year including necropsy (autopsy on animals), biopsies, bacterial culture, serology, parasitology, and molecular diagnostic techniques. AZVDL is accredited for all species by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

In addition to assisting veterinarians around the state with routine diagnostics, the laboratory conducts surveillance for new, emerging or foreign animal diseases with the potential to cause significant negative economic impact, such as Foot and Mouth Disease, Classical Swine Fever, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease.

AZVDL collaborates with the Arizona Department of Agriculture and University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in the Arizona Livestock Incident Response Team, a network of trained first responder private veterinarians, county extension agents and UA extension faculty designed to provide rapid response and investigation of significant livestock disease incidents within Arizona.

The lab is also active in the public health arena by monitoring animal populations for diseases shared by animals and humans, including salmonellosis, plague, tularemia, brucellosis, anthrax, rabies and West Nile Virus.

Date released: 
Mar 22 2013
Contact: 
Gregory A. Bradley