Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

About Us

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) of City University of Hong Kong will provide a research and diagnostic service to the local and regional veterinary community, world-class teaching and research facilities for the SVM’s undergraduate and graduate students as well as diagnostic capability to the veterinary teaching hospital (VTH).

The mission of the laboratory is to diagnose and research disease affecting animals through proven approaches to disease identification, investigation, and prevention while teaching veterinary students, postgraduate students and veterinarians. Scientific information will be shared through scholarly publication, interdisciplinary collaborations, and community outreach. Collaboration with medical professionals will provide opportunities for diagnosis and research into zoonotic diseases (animal diseases affecting humans).

The VDL will be operated by specialist veterinary diagnosticians, using the Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) of Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine training and standards, and will be committed to providing accurate, timely and user-friendly testing services to the veterinary community of Hong Kong and the region. With the increasing size and sophistication of the Hong Kong veterinary community and the drive to modernize veterinary medicine, a world class VDL will aid the advancing veterinary community.

The VDL will benefit veterinary clinicians, pets and pet owners, farmers and their livestock, biomedical researchers, animal parks, and wildlife by providing a comprehensive, quality veterinary diagnostic service delivered in a timely manner. The VDL will represent a unique blend of diagnosis, teaching (underpinning the training of veterinary undergraduates and graduates), research (by servicing the local research and teaching communities) and public service for the citizens of Hong Kong. It will be an additional resource for identifying, tracking and addressing emerging animal diseases and public health issues.

Currently the laboratory building space is undergoing renovation and expected to be completed by late 2016, planning to open to receive samples in 2017.


The VDL has three significant objectives to pursue:

  1. To provide a quality, timely diagnostic service to the Hong Kong and regional veterinary community.
  2. To develop a world class teaching programme (undergraduate and postgraduate) in the veterinary diagnostic disciplines and to implement SVM’s research and disease investigations into regional veterinary diseases of animal and public health importance.
  3. To become part of a veterinary diagnostic laboratory network in Hong Kong with the existing laboratories and wildlife parks.


The major sections and services of the lab include:

  • Anatomic pathology: Post mortem examinations (necropsy), surgical pathology (biopsy) evaluation, dermatopathology and diagnostic immunohistochemistry.
  • Clinical pathology: Laboratory testing of animal specimens by haematology, clinical chemistry, diagnostic cytology, immunology, immunophenotyping, endocrinology and urinalysis.
  • Bacteriology/Mycology: Aerobic and anaerobic culture for the presence of bacterial pathogens (along with antibiotic sensitivity testing), as well as fungal culture.
  • Parasitology: Detection and identification of animal parasites from animal faeces, tissues, fluids and environmental samples.
  • Virology: Detection of viral antigen in domestic and exotic animals. Detection tests include immunofluorescent antibody detection on fresh tissue, immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed tissues and antigen-capture ELISA tests.
  • Serology: ELISA, immunofluorescent antibody testing, microscopic agglutination tests (MAT), complement fixation tests (CFT), agar gel immunodiffusion assay (AGID) and Western Blot assays for common infectious agents of domestic and exotic animals.
  • Laboratory animal pathology and protocol consultation: Research study and protocol development, histopathology, clinical pathology, organ imaging, proteomic interpretations and pathology summary.
  • Molecular diagnostics: Detection of DNA or RNA from the common infectious agents of domestic and exotic animals.


Full list of VDL staff