Diagnostic Services

Science Center Objects

The Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratories Branch of the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) conducts laboratory investigations to determine the causes of wildlife mortality events, especially large-scale die-offs or those that are otherwise unusual.

NWHC Diagnostic Services

The NWHC provides diagnostic investigation services to determine causes of wildlife morbidity and mortality events. These services include specialized services in pathology, microbiology, virology, parasitology, and chemistry, and use microbiological, molecular-biological, and descriptive techniques to identify and characterize agents of infectious disease.

gull necropsy

Jenny Chipault inspects a ring-billed gull submitted for avian botulism type E testing. Some sick and dead gulls found on Lake Michigan beaches in 2011 had avian botulism. (Credit: Stephanie Steinfeldt, USGS. Public domain.)


Click here for the Diagnostic Case Submission Guidelines.

Click here to report a mortality event and submit specimens.


NWHC Laboratories and Capabilities







NWHC Diagnostic Tests

The following is a reference guide to the NWHC Diagnostic Laboratories commonly requested tests.  For Microbiology diagnostic tests performed, see the Microbiology page above. The following is not a full list of testing capabilities of the laboratories. Determination of which test will be run on any given submission will be based on case history, gross findings at necropsy, and the scientific judgment of the case pathologist.


NWHC Virology Test Table

 NWHC Parasitology Test Table

 NWHC Chemistry test table