The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) serves veterinarians, scientists, educators, companion animal owners, and the livestock and poultry industry by identifying and monitoring emerging diseases and developing new diagnostic methods. Submissions from a licensed veterinarian increases quality and integrity of the submission and allows for the veterinarian to provide interpretations when necessary.


Test Updates

Brucella abortus BAPA

The official screening test in swine and cattle (including Cervids and Camelids) for brucellosis conducted at the VDL is the Buffered Acidified Plate Antigen (BAPA) test. The Card test is used specifically to fulfill testing requirements for exports and/or show pigs testing.

Actinobacillus suis (A. suis) Real time PCR

The Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is returning the Actinobacillus suis (A. suis) PCR as a test option for a variety of sample types. An improved real time PCR test was developed for the detection of A. suis from porcine oral fluids, lung, joint, joint swabs, pooled tissues, pleura, pericardium, peritoneum, tonsil scrapings, biopsies, nasal swabs, oropharyngeal swabs, tonsil swabs, bone swabs, serum, bacterial isolates, fetal tissues, and subcutaneous skin swabs (ear/other skin lesions).  The test will be run weekly on Monday at a cost of $27.00. As with most tests, samples should be at the lab by noon the day before the test is scheduled to run ( by noon Friday for the A.suis PCR). Off schedule/emergency testing may be possible after consultation with a food animal diagnostician.

The A. suis primers and probe target the 23S ribosomal gene and are adapted from the reference article Kariyawasam, Subhashinie, et al.  “Development of a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay for Detection of Actinobacillus Suis in Porcine Lung.”  Updates were made to modernize the enzyme kit used in the assay as well as the probe prior to the start of validation.  The sequence of the primers and probe remained the same as the publication.  The A. suis PCR test has a detection limit of 50 copies/reaction.   The assay also has an exogenous internal control added during extraction.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae ELISA (IDVet)

Starting Aug 1, 2023, VDL will offer a new ELISA test for antibodies to Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in serum samples of pigs. The test is ID Screen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae available from ID Vet, France.

This test will replace the Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Civtest ELISA.  

The price of the test will be $10.40 per sample and will be run every week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Influenza Virus-Group A Matrix Real-Time PCR

Effective May 1, 2023, the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will be changing the reflex testing protocols for influenza A virus testing in swine samples.

For the past many years we've performed reflex subtyping (H1/H3/N1/N2 PCRs) and set up virus isolation (VI) on the sample with the lowest Ct value for the case, as long as the detection Ct value is <30. 

We will now be changing our protocols to mirror the USDA Swine Influenza A Virus Surveillance Program, and will only be performing reflex subtyping and virus isolation on oral fluid samples with detection Ct values of <20, and on nasal swab/wipe samples and lung samples with detection Ct values of <25, unless specifically instructed otherwise.

If you would like your samples to have reflex subtyping and/or virus isolation performed even if they fall outside of the the above detection Ct criteria, please indicate this preference on your submission forms, or you may request these additional tests via your Results Access webportal or by calling or emailing the laboratory once the detection results are reported. 

Please feel free to contact Dr. Matt Sturos (email to [email protected] or call 612-625-0947) with any questions or concerns you may have with this upcoming change.

Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) Ear Notch Screen Pooled Testing

There are three changes to BVD Ear Notch Screening
1) The posted fee on our website has been $52.50 per pooled test for the past year but this price increase was not made active in our system until July 1, 2022 (Link to BVDV Ear Notch Screen Pooled Testing online catalog entry).
2) A new fee which will be applied only to cases for which we receive samples that are not in the preferred sample containers, and/or in which samples containers are received with animal IDs written on the containers (e.g. - 14207, 34591, Daisy, Mabel, ...) instead of being serially numbered (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4,...). Individual animal IDs should be recorded on the submission form, on a separate piece of paper, or in a spreadsheet file provided to the lab for direct upload into our information management system, with the animal IDs arranged in the correct order so as to correspond to the serial numbers you apply to the sample containers (e.g. - 1 = 14207, 2 = 34591, 3 = Daisy, 4 = Mabel,...).
This new BVDV pooled ear notch organization fee will be applied on a per-pool basis, at $20 per pool tested, for cases meeting the criteria stated above. Cases received with samples in the preferred containers and for which the containers are serially numbered will NOT incur this additional per-pool fee. Cases received after January 1, 2023, will be evaluated for the applicability of this fee.
Please refer to our Ear Notch Best Practices sheet to avoid this fee.
3) The third item clarifies a policy we will be applying to any PCR positive or PCR suspect pools.  For any pool with a positive or suspect PCR result, we will be automatically testing the individual samples which make up the pool using the BVD antigen capture ELISA (ACE) test. Per our website, each BVDV ACE test is $5.46 per sample tested (Link to BVDV ACE test online catalog entry). This will allow for the individual identification of BVDV infected animals.