WADDL COVID Information
Per USDA guidelines, this testing is available only upon request by public and animal health agencies as well as academic researchers. Any testing must be approved by the state veterinarian in the state where the animals was exposed to a COVID – 19 patient. This test is not available currently to veterinarians or the general public. Please do not call to request testing.
The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL), on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, conducts limited testing of animal samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent for COVID-19 in humans.
Currently, the test is only available for government agencies and academic institutions as assistance to the current COVID-19 outbreak in humans, or as part of approved research projects gathering scientific information to better understand if and how pets could be affected by SARS-CoV-2 and help clarify the role, if any, of pets in human COVID-19. The current testing is limited and was not developed with, and does not use, human health testing resources.
Per USDA guidelines animal testing is only done if animal and public health officials agree testing should occur due to a link to a known human case of COVID-19.
SAMPLING AND TESTING
WADDL developed and validated this specific laboratory test at the request of federal, state, and county animal and public health agencies. WADDL did so to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results of this testing shown below contribute to an international database sharing effort for all scientists and healthcare providers to both humans and animals in order to better understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and combat the disease it produces.
The WADDL test uses a technique called a reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect the presence of a unique fingerprint of COVID-19 virus genetic material. To confirm samples positive by initial RT-PCR testing, WADDL performs a second test, partial genetic sequencing, and submits the sample to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for additional confirmatory testing.
Testing first involves securely collecting swabs from around the external openings of the animal’s nose and from the back of the mouth near the throat by qualified veterinarians as approved by the state veterinarian where the animal resides. Once securely collected, samples are securely packaged according to federal regulations for biological materials shipment and transported to WADDL.
The testing plan, RT-PCR and targeted genetic sequencing accurately identify SARS-CoV-2 genetic material, but it does not determine whether or not the virus is alive.
WADDL is a Level 1 laboratory in the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and any animals identified positive for SARS-CoV-2 by WADDL will be confirmed by the USDA-NVSL. Positive results for SARS-CoV-2 in animals will be reported to the submitting party and the State Veterinarian where submitting party resides since any COVID-19 virus identified in animals is reportable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In this way, information regarding any COVID-19 virus identified in animals can be shared around the world for combatting the global COVID-19 pandemic.
WADDL COVID-19 Animal Testing
Past COVID-19 information
Links here are not maintained or updated as of the date of entering this archive. Readers are cautioned accordingly.
- Mar 16, 2020 WADDL Begins testing for COVID-19 in dogs and cats.