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Health Assurance Testing

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The ISU VDL Health Assurance Testing Services (HATS) laboratory provides real-time production animal health monitoring for boar studs, swine breeding herd pyramids, and downstream production flows. The HATS lab offers same day testing for PRRSV, PEDV and PDCoV by real-time PCR. All samples submitted to HATS must be from farm sites which are confirmed PRRSV negative.  
Benefits of testing performed at the HATS laboratory:
  • Same day results with extended hours: The HATS lab offers real-time PCR testing Sunday through Friday with two submission receipt cut-offs and results each day (see table below).
  • Same day retesting: Any samples which yield a positive or suspect result are retested same day via a rigorous retesting policy.
  • Negative flow laboratory: The HATS lab performs testing on expected negative samples. All samples submitted need to have expected negative status for PRRSV. Additionally, samples submitted for PEDV and/or PDCV need to be expected negative for the respective agent(s) being tested for. The facility is physically isolated from routine PRRSV testing and takes great measures to minimize potential cross-contamination from positive samples or the environment.
  • Close cooperation with other sections in the ISU VDL: The HATS lab works closely with all ISU VDL sections and efficiently transfers samples if additional testing is requested.

For more information:

Call the HATS lab directly at 515-294-4761 or Dr. Karen Harmon at 515-294-1950.



HATS Submission Information: 

Sample Submission cut-off times for same day results: 

   Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday
AM cut-off 11:30am 11:30am 11:30am 11:30am 11:30am 12:00pm
PM cut-off 5:00pm 3:00pm 3:00pm 5:00pm 3:00pm Closed




*PEDV and PDCoV PCRs are not offered on Sundays.


Accepted sample types:

Please refer to the submission guidlines page for sample collection and submssion procedures.

  • PRRSV PCR: Serum, blood swabs, oral fluids, raw and extended semen, environmental samples.
  • PEDV and PDCoV PCR: Processed feces (a small amount of fecal material suspended in 1 ml of buffered saline solution), processed fecal swabs (a fecal swab suspended in 1 ml of buffered saline solution), oral fluids, raw and extended semen, environmental samples, feed and feed ingredients*.
*Due to additional processing required for feed and feed ingredients, results will be available the following testing day and any results on retests will not be available until the day following the original results.


Submission form:
The HATS lab uses the Swine Health Test Request Form. Identification of submissions intended for testing at HATS requires the “HATS Submission” box on the second page of the form be selected.
Address label and HATS labels:
For your added convienence we have HATS specific labels for you to affix to your packages. 
*Please note that the HATS address is different than the ISU VDL facility. 
*Use to identify already addressed boxes as HATS submissions.

Submission form


Dr. Karen Harmon

Contact information

Veterinary Diagnostic Lab
College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University
1600 South 16th St
Ames, IA 50011-1250
Fax 515-294-3564