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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Representative Rayfield Visits Diagnostic Lab

October 16th, 2015
Noah Lawler, microbiologist in the VDL, describes molecular diagnostics to house representative Dan Rayfield.

Noah Lawler, microbiologist in the VDL, describes molecular diagnostics to House Representative Dan Rayfield.

Last week, there was a bit of excitement in the normally quiet corridors of the OSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL): Dean Tornquist and Dr. Bildfell led a tour down Parasite Parkway for House Representative Dan Rayfield. The first stop was the VDL office and receiving area, where Rep. Rayfield asked questions about client demographics. Then they visited necropsy where lab coordinator Travis Feldsher was doing a post mortem exam on an illegal wolf shooting. Rep. Rayfield was interested to learn that the VDL helps law enforcement and the Oregon Humane Society investigate animal abuse cases, similar to TV’s NCIS but a lot less glamorous.

The tour included a visit to bacteriology where Rep. Rayfield asked questions about the kinds of tests they provide for farmers. Lab manager Peggy Dearing described a new test developed by Janell Bishop-Stewart that identifies a particularly virulent strain of trichostrongyle. The parasite causes anemia, pneumonia, and bottle jaw in ruminants, and the VDL is currently the only lab where this test is available.

At the Veterinary Research Laboratory, Rep. Rayfield learned about the advantages of using Direct Flourescent Antibody (DFA) to test for rabies in suspected carriers: the tests are very sensitive and can be done on dead virus. Rep. Rayfield was impressed that the lab can, in most cases, test for rabies and get a result in 24 hours. This is critical for humans who may have been infected by the animal and need to begin treatment ASAP.

After the tour, Rep. Rayfield spent time with Dean Tornquist, discussing college and laboratory funding issues, and student debt.

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