Health Assurance Testing Services (HATS)


The ISU VDL Health Assurance Testing Services (HATS) laboratory provides real-time production animal health monitoring for high-health and PRRSV expected negative production systems that include boar studs, swine breeding herd pyramids or multipliers, gilt developer units, and downstream production flows that maintain high levels of biosecurity. The HATS lab offers same-day testing for PRRSV and PEDV by real-time PCR with same-day retesting on positive and suspect results. All samples submitted to HATS must be from farm sites or premise ID which are confirmed PRRSV negative. Please call the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory to request permission to submit samples to the HATS laboratory that satisfy the PRRSV negative qualifications.

Benefits of testing performed at the HATS laboratory:

  • Same day results with extended hours: The HATS lab offers real-time PCR testing Monday through Saturday with two submission receipt cut-offs and results each day (see table) for farm sites or production systems that qualify based on the PRRSV expected negative status.
  • Same day retesting: Any samples which yield a positive or suspect result (PRRSV and PEDV) are retested the same day via a rigorous retesting policy.
  • Negative flow laboratory: The HATS lab performs testing on swine samples that are expected negative for PRRSV. Additionally, samples submitted for PEDV need to be expected negative to qualify for coronavirus testing.
  • Close cooperation with other sections in the ISU VDL: The HATS lab works closely with all ISU VDL sections and efficiently transfers samples if additional testing is requested.

Initial Submission:

Please contact the lab to be cleared for initial submissions for HATS testing (515-294-1950). The HATS lab will not accept samples from sites that represent commercial production systems.

Samples submitted to HATS must be from farm sites that are expected negative for PRRSV and PEDV. The HATS box must be checked on the Swine Health Test Request Form and HATS indicated on the outside of the shipper box with a label or marker.

Retest Policy:

Samples that yield a positive PCR result for PRRSV and/or PEDV, will have retests performed and reported the same day. Preliminary positive results will be conveyed to clients via phone. 

PRRSV vaccinated sites are exempt from the HATS retest policy. Additional retesting or requests for follow-up PRRSV testing must be requested and will occur the following day.


A positive result for PRRSV or PEDV disqualifies the site or premise of future testing until a negative status has been established for 3 months. Submissions from the positive site will be routed to the Molecular lab for testing until the negative status has been confirmed. Clients will be notified via email with permission to resume submission to HATS once the farm site has maintained the negative status or the required length of time. 

However, if the positive site is depopulated and repopulated it may qualify for HATS testing. The laboratory must be notified of the repopulated status prior to submitting for HATS testing.


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