History of the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

Upon our opening in 1912, the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) served as a testing laboratory for vaccines and antisera in the prevention and control of hog cholera. Hog cholera decimated swine herds in Indiana and other swine producing states from the mid-1850s until the vaccine was developed in the early 1900s. This early version of the ADDL produced and sold hog cholera vaccine for the Vet Science department of the Purdue Ag Experiment Station, and these Purdue scientists were instrumental to the control of hog cholera in Indiana.

The Indiana Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University and Heeke Animal Disease Laboratory have held full accreditation for all species from the American Associations of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians continually since its first visit in 1976.

In the early 1930s, testing for Brucellosis, also known as Bang's Disease, was added. Brucellosis was recognized in the late 1920s as a disease which might be transmissible to humans by the consumption of raw milk. In 1945, Indiana appropriated money toward the eradication of Brucellosis, which funded an integral part of the ADDL's mission for the coming decades.

The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory was established in Section 1, Chapter 68 of the Act of 1945, by the Indiana Legislature. This was one of the first facilities in the United States dedicated exclusively to the diagnosis of animal diseases. The first official ADDL facility opened on Purdue campus in 1947.

In 1957, the Indiana General Assembly authorized the establishment of a School of Veterinary Science and Medicine at Purdue University. At this time, the ADDL facility had been operational for about ten years and became an integral part of the School of Veterinary Medicine. Additional remodels in the 1960s and 1970s created space for avian and mammalian necropsies, expanded toxicology and virology services, and more.

In 1991, the current ADDL laboratory building on Purdue's campus completed construction, and was dedicated on June 11.

A second diagnostic laboratory was established in 1969 at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC) to serve the poultry industry in Southern Indiana. An addition to the SIPAC facility in 1977 provided mammalian diagnostic services to this region.

In 1998, this facility was renamed the Dennis R. Heeke ADDL at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center, commonly known as HEEKE. Dennis Heeke was a former Indiana Representative who served for 17 consecutive terms, and whose dedication to animal agriculture and the poultry industry helped fund SIPAC and support the agricultural and veterinary industries in the region.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the ADDL, Indiana was declared free of Brucellosis in 1992, and declared free of Pseudorabies in 2000. Today we are proud to serve the state of Indiana, in conjunction with Purdue University, and be home to over 100 scientists, in eight discipline sections and in two strategic locations. We are also proud members of the USDA-APHIS National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and the FDA CVM Veterinary Laboratory Information & Response Network (Vet-LIRN).

Source: Linda Hendrickson, "100 Years in the Making, 1913-2013"

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