Current WADDL Animal COVID-19 Testing

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WADDL COVID-19 Testing Information

update 12/02/2020

Introduction to Animal and Human testing

The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL), on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, conducts limited testing of animal and human samples for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent for COVID-19 in humans.

WADDL developed and validated specific laboratory tests at the request of federal, state, and county animal and public health agencies to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Animal Testing

Currently, the animal COVID-19 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. 

Per USDA guidelines, animal testing for COVID-19 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.

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.

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. USDA is aggregating all positive results for SARS-CoV-2 in animals reported to the submitting party and the State Veterinarian where submitting party resides. Any COVID-19 positive animals identified are reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

As such information regarding any COVID-19 virus identified in animals can be shared around the world for combatting the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Human Testing

In partnership with Incyte Diagnostics (a Washington-based human clinical laboratory), WADDL provides laboratory testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans through its One Health Diagnostics laboratory (WSU One Health Diagnostics). WADDL and WSU One Health Diagnostics do not conduct sampling or provide tests directly to the general public. COVID-19 testing requests must be received through Incyte Diagnostics.

The WADDL One Health Diagnostics laboratory if fully CLIA licensed in partnership with Incyte Diagnostics and performs FDA approved human COVID-19 testing using the ThermoFisher TaqPath platform, a real-time PCR (RT-PCR) in vitro diagnostic tests intended for the qualitative detection of RNA from SARS-CoV-2 from individuals who meet COVID-19 clinical and/or epidemiological criteria. In general, SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected during the acute phase of infection.  The testing is at the request of federal, state, and county public health agencies.  WADDL did so to assist in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As with animal testing, the results of human testing are reported to public health agencies and contribute to a state international database sharing effort for all scientists and healthcare providers to humans in order to better understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and combat the disease it produces. 

For more information on WSU One Health Diagnostics and COVID-19 response in Pullman please visit here.




American Veterinary Medical Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

United States Dept of Agriculture