Veterinary - NCVDL Services

Utilizing the NCVDL System

NCVDLS facilities are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Emergency after hours, weekend, and holiday submissions must be arranged by contacting the individual laboratory.  The Facilities Directory provides contact information and directions to each of our laboratories.

The core services provided by the NCVDLS are listed below. All NCVDLS facilities provide a diagnostic necropsy service; however, other testing services have limited availability at the branch laboratories. Please consult our Lab User Guide for current test offerings by location. Please note that although the NCVDLS does accept out-of-state submissions, not all laboratory services are available to out-of-state clients.

Fees are subject to change without notice.

Please reference Specimen Submittal for general instructions prior to specimen submission.

All types of specimens submitted to the NCVDLS must be accompanied by an appropriate submission form. Booklets of printed forms can also be requested by contacting any of the laboratories.

Laboratory results are available to clients by fax, US mail or electronically. To become an online client, register an account with NCVDLS Online.

NCVDL System Departments

Tab/Accordion Items

The Bacteriology Section of the NCVDLS provides a high quality, detailed, and timely service to our veterinary clients, livestock and poultry producers, and lay clients.  Major services available through the section include the detection, isolation, and identification of a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria and fungi from clinical specimens. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing is performed on most potentially pathogenic aerobic and facultatively anaerobic bacteria. Specific antimicrobial panels are used for companion animals, food animals and poultry to provide useful information.

Parasitology services are also offered in this section and include: fecal flotation, quantitative analysis by the modified McMaster’s method, Tritrichomonas foetus isolation and identification and the use of an indirect assay for detection of Cryptosporidium and Giardia.  

Specimens are processed during routine business hours continuously throughout the day. As a general rule, aerobic bacteria require 2-4 days for identification and susceptibility testing, while anaerobic cultures may take as long as14 days for complete identification. Certain bacterial and fungal pathogens may take longer to grow and identify. Please consult the Lab User Guide for details regarding specimen selection, test offerings and turnaround times.

We make every effort to provide laboratory reports with useful interpretations relevant to the individual case history. For case consultation, Dr. James Trybus is available by e-mail or telephone (919-733-3986).

For more information contact Dr. Anil Thachil on 919-733-3986 or email him on anil.thachil@ncagr.gov.

Surgical pathology and necropsy tissue samples collected in-house or submitted by Veterinarians are examined by light microscopy to diagnose neoplasia, infectious disease, congenital anomalies, toxicoses, dietary deficiencies and other causes of morbidity and mortality.  Special stains for bacterial and fungal agents, for iron, copper and mineral, and for endogenous substances such as amyloid are utilized in conjunction with routine stains in the diagnostic process.  Three Veterinary Pathologists certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and one certified by the American society of Poultry Veterinarians provide a diagnosis based on examination of the slides .

Cells aspirated from cutaneous and visceral masses, as well as cells within fluids such as urine, pleural fluid or peritoneal fluid, are also examined by light microscopy.

Additional information on tests offered and recommendations for sample submission are available in the Lab User Guide.

For more information contact Dr. Alison Tucker on 919-733-3986 or email her on alison.tucker@ncagr.gov

Immunohistochemistry is a diagnostic tool that uses antibody-antigen interactions to detect the presence of infectious agents or cell markers in formalin-fixed tissue samples.  Immunohistochemistry is a sensitive and specific test that is a valuable adjunct to histopathologic evaluation of necropsies and surgical pathology samples.  A major advantage to immunohistochemistry is that infectious agents can be placed in a lesion, thus cross reactions with vaccines or incidental exposure can be ruled out.  In addition tests are performed on fixed tissue, so that sample degradation in transit can be less of a factor than tests relying on fresh tissue.

Infectious agents available include viruses, bacteria and protozoal organisms.

Cell markers are used to enhance characterization of neoplasia such as differentiating B and T cell lymphoma or to differentiate preneoplastic inflammatory conditions from neoplasia as in cases of feline inflammatory bowel disease that are suspected to have progressed to alimentary lymphoma.

Immunohistochemistry can also be used to diagnose persistent infection with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in the absence of clinical disease.

Additional information on tests offered and recommendations for sample submission are available in the Lab User Guide.

For more information contact Dr. Alison Tucker on 919-733-3986 or email her on alison.tucker@ncagr.gov

The molecular diagnostic laboratory section performs PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing for the detection and characterization of animal pathogenic bacteria and viruses. This section also includes a bio-safety level 3 laboratory that is designed to contain samples which require a higher degree of biosecurity, i.e. suspected agents of foreign animal and zoonotic disease such as, Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Porcine Delta-Coronavirus (PDCoV), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV), Turkey Coronavirus (TCV), and West Nile Virus (WNV). Samples are tested by both real time and conventional PCR techniques. Reference Lab User Guide for test offerings.

For more information contact Dr. Neeti Dahal on 919-733-3986 or email her on neeti.dahal@ncagr.gov.

Animals of any species are accepted for necropsy examination. A rewarding necropsy requires a freshly dead animal with signs typical of the disease or condition as seen in the field. Live poultry, piglets, and fish may be preferred. An accurate complete history should accompany the animal. Necropsy exams are performed as soon as possible after submission, and the client is informed of the necropsy findings and tentative diagnosis. Often, additional laboratory procedures are required to arrive at a diagnosis. Charges for necropsy include most ancillary testing required to obtain a diagnosis. Toxin testing or tissue mineral analysis is referred to another accredited laboratory and additional charges are the responsibility of the client. After all testing is completed; a final report is distributed to the client. Only animals submitted for a legitimate diagnostic work-up will be accepted for necropsy. Our services do not include carcass disposal for the owner's convenience. The remains of animals submitted for necropsy cannot be released from the laboratory but pickup by licensed pet cremation services is allowed. Please see the Lab User Guide for more information about necropsy procedures and policies.

For more information contact Dr. Jennifer Haugland on 919-733-3986 or email her on jennifer.haugland@ncagr.gov.

Fecal specimens should be packed to prevent leakage and to keep the sample cool during transit. Adult parasites for identification may be submitted in 70% alcohol. Fluorescent antibody testing is provided for Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Specimens must be submitted in 10% buffered formalin (equal volumes of feces and formalin).

For more information contact Dr. Anil Thachil on 919-733-3986 or email him on anil.thachil@ncagr.gov.

The mission of the Serology Section is to provide diagnostic serology test services to veterinarians and producers in an effort to support food animal commodities including the poultry, pork, beef, and dairy industries. This section also provides disease monitoring for state and federal regulatory programs.

Specimens from live animals are generally limited to serum which is used to detect the presence of antibodies to specific bacterial pathogens. Success in diagnosis often is better using specimens from clinically affected, live animals. However, we frequently perform tests on samples obtained at necropsy.

Serologic assays are available for the following diseases: anaplasmosis, leptospirosis, brucellosis, avian mycoplasmosis (Mycoplasma gallisepticum, synoviae and meleagridis), porcine mycoplasmosis (Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae) and avian bordetellosis. Please consult the Lab User Guide for details regarding test offerings and turnaround times.

For more information contact Dr. James Trybus on 919-733-3986 or email him on james.trybus@ncagr.gov.

The Virology Laboratory section has the capability to isolate and identify a variety of mammalian and avian viral agents. Procedures include virus isolation in cell culture and embryonating chicken eggs, fluorescent antibody testing, negative contrast electron microscopy and antigen capture tests. Serological tests are available for the identification of specific antibodies to a variety of viral agents by ELISA, AGID, HI and virus neutralization assays.

For more information contact Dr. Neeti Dahal on 919-733-3986 or email her on neeti.dahal@ncagr.gov.