KSVDL receives full accreditation plus Level 1 status from National Animal Health Laboratory Network

March 10, 2023

The Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, or KSVDL, received notification Feb. 28 for being granted full accreditation by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, or AAVLD, until Dec. 31, 2027 and Level 1 Laboratory status with the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, or NAHLN.

For accreditation, an AAVLD team performed a site visit in November of 2022 to examine the quality management system and laboratory competence to ensure continued management and technical competence and compliance with appropriate laboratory quality management system standards.

The AAVLD standard and KSVDL quality system ensure procedures and necessary improvements are made for excellent service and consistent test results to KSVDL clients, which include veterinarians, pet owners, livestock producers, zoos and industry and government partners. The 13 testing and management sections that comprise KSVDL participated in the audit. According to Director Dr. Jamie Retallick, the KSVDL performed “extremely well.” She said the toxicology, next-generation sequencing, and research and development sections passed accreditation for the first time.

“Meeting accreditation and quality standards is an important part of performing excellent service for clients and stakeholders,” Dr. Retallick said. “I am proud of everyone on the KSVDL team for their hard work and dedication to the quality system led by Ms. Kristina Wyatt, KSVDL Director of Quality.”

As an accredited lab, KSVDL is part of approximately 60 university and government laboratories that make up the NAHLN, which provides a framework for the coordination of federal and state animal disease diagnostic laboratory infrastructure, capabilities and capacities to respond to foreign animal disease and outbreaks. The KSVDL works with the NAHLN network to help protect the United States economy and livestock industries from foreign animal disease.

“Congratulations to the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab on maintaining their full accreditation,” said Dr. Justin Smith, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner. “Having a fully accredited AAVLD diagnostic lab in Kansas is a great accomplishment and vital to the mission of supporting animal health and diagnostics for both livestock producers and pet animal owners. The AAVLD accreditation provides the assurance that the staff, facilities, internal processes and customer service are at a level that provides confidence in their work and the subsequent lab results. This confidence cannot be taken lightly when you are potentially dealing with high impact diseases that could affect the entire livestock industry across the state.”

The KSVDL’s NAHLN testing and activities are led by Dr. Lance Noll, section head of Molecular Service. The lab has participated in extensive testing in 2022 following an outbreak of high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The Molecular Service also conducts surveillance testing for Foot and Mouth Disease. In addition, as part of the NAHLN network in 2020, KSVDL used this capability to help the state respond to COVID-19 testing needs for protection of public health.

Recently KSVDL, has become part of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, or APHL, under the guidance of Janine Seetahal, DVM, MPH, PhD, who is the head of the KSVDL’s rabies section. Dr. Retallick said KSVDL is a key part of the APHL with its extensive rabies testing and experience in zoonotic diseases that are a public health hazard, the most common being Tularemia and Q fever.

More information about the KSVDL, it’s services, state and industry partners and other resources are available online at: https://ksvdl.org/