MADISON, WI - 11/6/06 - More than 150 individuals representing Wisconsin’s farm industries, the university, and an interested public helped celebrate the completion of the new Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (WVDL) recently.
The 78,000-square-foot facility has been under construction for two years and replaces the existing diagnostic laboratory on Mineral Point Road in Madison. It features a high-security, 1,200-square-foot biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory for work with highly infective agents such as avian influenza and tuberculosis. This enhanced BSL-3 facility includes vnon-porous surfaces, multiple safety hoods, negative air pressure, and filtered air to ensure that infectious diseases are safely contained.
The new WVDL also features an electron microscopy laboratory installed on a floating floor, so that vibrations from a nearby train track will not affect readings, plus a 4,000-pound-capacity tissue digester that sterilizes and decomposes tissues in preparation for disposal. The laboratories themselves are spacious and designed so that there is a natural work flow from sample receipt to processing to disposal.
“We finally have the space to do things properly,” said David Krueger, a virologist at the WVDL. The increased space provides improved segregation of clean and contaminated areas, increased testing capacity, and provides space for instruments necessary for more advanced techniques.
Th new facility is better suited to modern diagnostic techniques and will therefore aid rapid response to threats toward animal and public health.
The laboratory is part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, a national surveillance program for avian influenza, and collaborates with the departments of natural resources and agriculture as well as with other laboratories across the country in this effort.
Initial occupancy will begin November 9.