Early outbreak detection using an automated data feed of test orders from a veterinary diagnostic laboratory

Loren Shaffer, Julie Funk, Päivi Rajala-Schultz, Garrick Wallstrom, Thomas Wittum, Michael Wagner, William Saville

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


Disease surveillance in animals remains inadequate to detect outbreaks resulting from novel pathogens and potential bioweapons. Mostly relying on confirmed diagnoses, another shortcoming of these systems is their ability to detect outbreaks in a timely manner. We investigated the feasibility of using veterinary laboratory test orders in a prospective system to detect outbreaks of disease earlier compared to traditional reporting methods. IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. automatically transferred daily records of laboratory test orders submitted from veterinary providers in Ohio via a secure file transfer protocol. Test products were classified to appropriate syndromic category using their unique identifying number. Counts of each category by county were analyzed to identify unexpected increases using a cumulative sums method. The results indicated that disease events can be detected through the prospective analysis of laboratory test orders and may provide indications of similar disease events in humans before traditional disease reporting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntelligence and Security Informatics
Subtitle of host publicationBiosurveillance - Second NSF Workshop, BioSurveillance 2007, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783540726074
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2nd NSF BioSurveillance Workshop, BioSurveillance 2007 - New Brunswick, NJ, United States
Duration: May 22 2007May 22 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4506 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other2nd NSF BioSurveillance Workshop, BioSurveillance 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Brunswick, NJ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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