In the good ole summertime, the “lazy
daze of summer” aren’t likely to happen this year.
It doesn’t look like we are going to run out of things
to do. The Exotic Newcastle Disease in the Southwest has
put us on alert for detecting its occurrence as early as possible
if it gets to Indiana; the finding of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
in Canada has brought increased surveillance efforts to the
U.S.; the import of some giant rats from Africa has ostensibly
brought monkey pox to our shores and into Indiana and the
West Nile virus season has started a bit earlier than it did
last year. We’ve had one case of monkey pox through
the ADDL in a prairie dog; the case is awaiting confirmation
by CDC, but gross and histologic lesions and finding pox virus
particles with electron microscopy in the lung are very suggestive
of the diagnosis. At the time the animal came through the
lab, we were not suspicious of monkey pox as news of its occurrence
in this country had not yet been released. Fortunately, no
one in the lab contracted pox from it.
As charges for sending samples via public transportation
that contain known infectious agents have gone to such high
levels, it has become necessary to recharge shipping charges
if you request return of infectious cultures. The high cost
of shipping is incurred if we are shipping known infectious
material; if you are sending us material or we are sending
material that is “diagnostic” and perhaps suspicioned,
but not known to have, infectious agents present, the cost
is much lower.
We are getting up to speed on running immunohistochemistry
for transmissible encephalopathies. It is an involved procedure
and, up to now, we have been running tests on samples received
and contracted with the federal lab inAmes, Iowa. If all
goes well we should be set up to do the surveillance testing
for CWD in Indianawhite-tail deer this fall using this procedure.
We hope you have an enjoyable summer and we hope that you
are unhesitating to contact us with your diagnostic needs.