Iowa State University

Iowa State University
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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager, (515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

06-08-04

Contact:

Dr. Gary Osweiler, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (515) 294-1950

Teddi Barron, News Service, (515) 294-4778

IOWA STATE TO DEDICATE BIOSECURITY UNIT FOR STATE'S VETERINARY DIAGNOSTIC LAB JUNE 10

AMES, Iowa -- A $3.2 million upgrade to Iowa State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be dedicated Thursday, June 10, at 4 p.m. The addition will expand and enhance the laboratory's biosecurity.

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory provides diagnostic services to Iowa's veterinarians. Staff performs more than one million tests and manages more than 50,000 cases each year. A critical function of the lab is to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the early detection of foreign animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza.

Dedication speakers will be Gregory Geoffroy, ISU president; Brent Halling, deputy secretary, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Dr. Norman Cheville, veterinary medicine dean; and Dr. Gary Osweiler, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory director. Facility tours will follow the brief program and ribbon cutting. The dedication is free and open to the public.

"Upgrades to the diagnostic laboratory will reduce the risk of cross contamination or further dissemination of animal diseases. In addition, the laboratory will be better prepared to counter any introduction of foreign animal diseases in Iowa," Osweiler said.

The ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is part of the network of federal and state labs that respond to accidental and intentional introduction of foreign animal diseases or endemic diseases potentially used for bioterrorism purposes, Osweiler said.

The new 4,000-square-foot biosecurity unit will make it possible to decontaminate vehicles that

deliver animals, and collect and hold wastes for decontamination. The unit provides a secure necropsy and Biosecurity Level Three (BL3)-capable lab where suspect diseases can be contained for identification or characterization.

Osweiler said the BL3 containment area will make it possible to test specimens contaminated with potentially infectious or toxic agents. Containment features include the following

  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered biosafety cabinets
  • Ventilation system separate from the rest of the diagnostic laboratory with appropriate controlled room air pressures
  • Entry to the unit only by controlled and monitored key card access
  • A collection tank for liquids from high-risk animals examined on site
  • Shower in/shower out access
  • Airlock entry
  • Pass through autoclave for sterilization of clothing, boots and instruments

"The biosecurity unit provides enhanced safety, security and diagnostic services to livestock producers and animal owners in Iowa," Osweiler said.

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is next to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, on the southeast side of the College of Veterinary Medicine complex. Visitors can enter from Christensen Drive or South 16th Street.

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Note to Editors: A downloadable photo of the exterior of the addition to the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is available at http://www.public.iastate.edu/~nscentral/

Quick look

A $3.2 million biosecurity addition to Iowa State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be dedicated Thursday, June 10, at 4 p.m.

Quote

"The biosecurity unit provides enhanced safety, security and diagnostic services to livestock producers and animal owners in Iowa."

Gary Osweiler