In 2013, ZPP faculty member Dr. Karen Terio examined a cougar found in Illinois. The diagnostic process, which included a genetic analysis that could identify where he originated, led to a better understanding of the species. Read more.

Diagnostic Services

The ZPP is a full-service diagnostic pathology laboratory, specializing in zoo, exotic and wildlife diseases. ZPP provides gross necropsy, full histopathology (including special stains and immunohistochemistry), electron microscopy and cytology services to our clients.

As a unit of the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, ZPP is fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. Diagnostic pathology is provided on a contract-supported basis to zoos, aquaria, wildlife agencies and other partner institutions.
A recent addition and growing component of the program’s service is its Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory, which offers a variety of PCR-based assays available on a fee-for-service basis.

PCR based assays often provide greater sensitivity than traditional microbiological techniques and can be utilized for testing a variety of samples, including fixed tissues. Because PCR assays test for the presence of pathogen nucleic acids (DNA or RNA), the same assay, once validated, can be used in a wide variety of species. Assay development is geared towards our clientele’s needs and new tests are constantly being developed.

Information on currently offered ZPP-MDL tests, submission guidelines and fees can be found on our submission form. You can also directly contact the laboratory at