Wayne Chittick is the Manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.’s (BIVI) Health Management Center (HMC) Diagnostic Lab in Ames, Iowa. The swine diagnostic lab is part of BIVI’s technical services group and was on display for ag media prior to this year’s World Pork Expo. Chittick said the lab is designed to help the vet and account teams explore problems that matter to the producer. They conduct diagnostics in their lab as well as send samples to other labs to ultimately answer questions that clients have on the farm.
One area of expertise for BIVI and the lab is quality control. “We know its very important that the results we generate are creating evidence that is used to make decisions on the farm and these decisions can be very high dollar, high consequence decisions,” explained Chittick. “So we’ve done a lot over the years to assure that the test results we generate are accurate and right the first time. We do that in part through what we call a quality system which is all the procedures, policies and ways of doing work that help us ensure accurate results go out the first time.”
Chittick said their quality system is recognized through third-party accreditation so the tests they offer have been American Association of Lab Accreditation accredited since 2004 to the ISO 17025 standard.
Today the swine diagnostic lab can analyze samples within 24 hours, said Chittick. When asked what the future of diagnostics looked like he said that today their lab network is pretty unprecedented. “Besides having same day PCR results, within a few days we can have sequence results to tell you what strain is present.”
And the future? “Things I think we’re hearing about in the future are methods in the lab that allow you to get more information from a single sample such as multiplex assays that let you detect more targets in each sample.” Chittick added that in the field he believes they will be able to get diagnostics from the pen, literally right on the farm, so the producer wouldn’t have to send the samples in to a traditional lab to get immediate results.
To learn more about one day in the life of a sample and the future of swine diagnostics, listen to Jamie’s interview with Wayne Chittick: Interview with Wayne Chittick, BIVI