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Cornell University Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology

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Ithaca, New York, US

About Cornell University Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology

The Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) at Cornell University offers a wide array of testing capabilities to detect markers of health and disease in animals. It is one of the most comprehensive veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the country, whose faculty provide subject matter expertise and oversight of more than 900 individual assays, performed by 200 highly trained technical staff. The AHDC services include large and small-scale testing for academic and industry research and development. Our sophisticated and comprehensive diagnostic capabilities include anatomic pathology (necropsy and histopathology services), clinical pathology (hematology, hemostasis, cytology, endocrinology), nutritional and toxicology testing. Infectious disease sections span all relevant disciplines including bacteriology, mycology, parasitology, and virology with a wide range of culture capabilities and available cell lines. The molecular diagnostics laboratory has high-throughput capacity for identifying defined and novel pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms, mutation detection for genetic disease, and whole genome sequencing of bacterial isolates. The AHDC excels in assay customization and integrated diagnostic support, with flexibility to meet the needs of clients engaged in basic and applied research and development.

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Veterinary Microbiology & Parasitology

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The Animal Health Diagnostic Center is unique among AAVLD accredited lab in having parasitology as a stand-alone section with full-service veterinary parasite diagnostic capabilities. Overseen by a board certified parasitologist, the section offers classical, serological and molecular services for detection/identification of parasites of veterinary importance and diagnosing parasitic infections in domestic and wild animals. This service is provided in an accurate, timely and cost efficient manner.

Host species tested include bovine, equine, caprine, ovine, canine, feline, equine, camelids, avian, lab animals, exotic, zoo animals, wild animals and birds, fishes, marine mammals.

Samples typically received for examination include feces, entire endo- and ectoparasites, necropsy samples, skin scrapings, blood, serum, plasma, urine, tracheal washes, duodenal aspirates, feed samples, and environmental samples such as soil and composted material.

Tests conducted to identify parasites or parasite stages in feces include:

• Qualitative or quantitative centrifugation concentration flotation techniques

  • We employ a comprehensive evaluation strategy based on host species and age group of animal tested and consistently use two different floatation solutions of varied specific gravity (Sugar and Zinc Sulphate) to maximize the recovery of nematode, cestode, trematode and protozoan parasite stages.
    • Antigen capture ELISA tests for Giardia sp. and Cryptosporidium sp.
  • This procedure is done in parallel with double centrifugation floatation for accurate evaluation of disease status in the host, all in one price.
    • Modified Baermann technique for recovery of nematode larvae
  • This test is used to retrieve some species of lungworm larvae in domestic and pet animals. Also used to retrieve protostrongylid larvae from infected wild ungulates. This can be combined with molecular confirmation for accurate species identification.
    • Nematode larvae cultures
  • Used to determine the species of “strongyle” nematodes by culturing the eggs (which are indistinguishable between various strongyles) in the feces to obtain third stage larvae which can then be identified further.

Tests conducted to identify parasitic infections using serum/plasma include:

• Occult heartworm test

  • This test is used for the detection of adult female Dirofilaria immitis antigen in canine and feline serum or plasma. This test is validated for use in dogs and cats only. Other animals may be tested by this method, but reactivity in other species is not clearly defined.
    • Toxoplasma IgG ELISA
  • The Toxoplasma gondii IgG ELISA tests serum for the presence of anti-Toxoplasma IgG antibody. This test is valid to test serum from a broad range of animal species, except for birds, marsupials and cold-blooded animals.
    • Feline antibody heartworm test
  • This test detects antibodies resulting from heartworm infections in cats that may include immature worms, adult male and female worms or single sex male or female infections. This test is validated for samples from domestic feline hosts only.

Other tests conducted include:

• Parasite identification

  • Whole parasites, on histological slides, in a biopsy etc., are processed by morphological and/or molecular methods.
    • Fecal Egg Count Reduction Test (FECRT)
  • Done as herd evaluation to check for anthelmintic (anti-parasitic drug) resistance
    • Tritrichomonas fetus InPouch culture test
  • InPouch culture of preputial wash from bulls to detect Tritrichomonas fetus
  • InPouch™ TF method is used for the diagnosis of Tritrichomonas foetus infection in cats
    • Knott’s technique for microfilariae in blood
    • KOH digestion of skin scrapings to retrieve ectoparasites
    • Whirling Disease testing of fish


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Veterinary Research & Diagnostics

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Veterinary Research & Diagnostic Services


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Veterinary Laboratory Services

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Veterinary Laboratory Services


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