Comparative Pathology

Comparative Pathology Services and Fees

A. Diagnostic Laboratory Services

The Comparative Pathology Laboratory (CPL) is an integral part of the veterinary and animal care programs of the Division of Comparative Medicine. The CPL has four primary functions:

  1. to provide diagnostic laboratory services in support of the veterinary care, quarantine and surveillance programs of the Division;
  2. to make the services of the laboratory available to investigators on a fee-for-service basis;
  3. to participate in the research activities of the Division relative to animal care and disease control; and
  4. to participate in the formal and informal teaching programs conducted within the Division.

The CPL is equipped and staffed to provide technical services in microbiology, mycology, mycoplasmology, chlamydiology, virology, serology, hematology, parasitology, clinical chemistry, urinalysis, necropsy and histology. The CPL uses the services of reference laboratories to perform tests not conducted in-house, and for consultation and confirmation of test results when necessary.
The laboratory services are utilized by the Division’s veterinary staff in support of programs in clinical and preventive medicine, conditioning, quarantine and health surveillance of vendor and resident animal colonies.

The CPL does not accept requests for diagnostic services directly from an investigator. Investigators should contact the veterinary staff to arrange for CPL services for evaluating health problems in their animals. The clinical veterinarian, in consultation with the investigator, will determine the scope of the problem, initiate whatever corrective measures are required and submit the appropriate samples to the laboratory for evaluation. This mandatory procedure ensures the veterinary staff is cognizant of animal health problems and precludes the inadvertent spread of infectious disease to other animals in the facilities.

B. Laboratory Resource Support to the MIT Research Community

The resources of the CPL are available to MIT investigators on a fee-for-service basis in support of their own research projects. In addition, DCM welcomes the opportunity for collaborative efforts. Individuals wishing to utilize CPL should contact the following groups to schedule work: 

It is important to make these arrangements well in advance, to ensure that the laboratory has the necessary materials, supplies and staffing to accommodate the request. See Appendix E1 for the current fee schedule for laboratory services.

C. Intradivisional Research

The capabilities of the CPL are used to support research conducted within the DCM to study and further define animal-related diseases and environmental conditions that could potentially affect animal health or alter or influence experimental results. The focus of these efforts is infectious gastroenterology and a separate research staff supports these efforts.

D. Participation in Division Educational Programs

The personnel of the CPL contribute their expertise and technical skills to the various teaching programs offered by the Division to undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students. They also provide one-on-one tutorial training to students or technicians who wish to develop skills they can transfer to their own laboratories. A library of Kodachrome slides and histologic slides, generated from the DCM’s diagnostic and research studies of past years, is available for teaching purposes.


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