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Purdue veterinary school to conduct COVID-19 testing of people

(Apr. 2020) Purdue's Animal Disease Diagnostics Lab will conduct COVID-19 diagnostics on human test samples. (photo courtesy: Purdue)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — With limited testing capacity for the coronavirus within the state, Purdue University is helping the Hoosier state to expand its testing resources in the battle against COVID-19.

The university says the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine is working with Fort Wayne-based Parkview Health to start conducting COVID-19 tests for human patients.

The lab recently received regulatory approval to conduct clinical laboratory testing on human diagnostics.

“The ADDL is uniquely positioned to contribute skills and expertise in the detection of pathogens to the fight against COVID-19, while maintaining our diagnostic support of animal health and the safety of the food supply,” said Dr. Kenitra Hendrix, director of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

The goal is to turn around results the same day that samples are received in the lab.

Hendrix said the ADDL had a unique opportunity to help because of the lab’s expertise in providing infectious disease testing for animals across the state.

“The College of Veterinary Medicine has a long history of providing services to protect animal and human health,” said Willie Reed, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Providing COVID-19 testing is yet another way to support the citizens of Indiana during this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Testing began in collaboration with Parkview Health, but Purdue says testing will be expanded to other hospitals.

Hendrix said to avoid a testing backlog, hospitals interested in working with the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory are required to complete the “Partnership Inquiry” form.