With the support of Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), scientists at LSU Health Shreveport have established the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Laboratory to address the need for faster detection and processing of COVID-19 tests. The EVT Lab at LSUHS is the first in North Louisiana approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to conduct and analyze tests to determine if an individual has COVID-19. The EVT Lab is currently in operation and fully staffed as of March 25, 2020.

OUR MISSION is to serve the citizens of the state and diagnose the presence of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 and then to become the region’s top surveillance lab for the detection of new viruses and other pathogens  that could affect the health of citizens of the region and state.

New:  Phylodynamic analysis of Louisiana SARS-CoV-2 outbreak

Phylogenetic analyses are used to place SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes on a “family tree,” and are generated using powerful software designed by genetic epidemiologists. The resulting trees enable scientists and curious members of the public to interact with viral genetic sequence information to infer possible transmission chains and to visualize the relatedness of various SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus genomes from around the state.  The raw data were generated by determining the sequence of viral RNA genomes recovered from patient samples.  The organizations that contributed viral sequence data from Louisiana were LSUHS EVT laboratory, MiGS Center, Garry Lab (Tulane), the Andersen Lab (Scripps Research), BioInfo Experts, LSU Baton Rouge, Gingko Bioworks, the Louisiana Department of Public Health and the CDC.  Once sequence data is generated, it is uploaded to GISAID, a science initiative for epidemics/pandemics that has become a key resource for international collaboration efforts to combat COVID-19 and influenza.

The EVT Lab is working to obtain complete genome sequences of the viruses from samples in cooperation with nationwide and international efforts to better understand the virus, enable molecular epidemiology work, such as contact tracing, and to inform future vaccine efforts. LSU Health Shreveport is also the only academic center in Louisiana with this capability. The lab provides the same offerings as CDC testing locations and is working collaboratively with the World Health Organization and CDC-sanctioned testing labs, following the same testing criteria.



“LSU Health Shreveport is proud to have nationally and internationally renowned NIH funded virologists on our faculty. Creation of the Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) laboratory brings together numerous regional experts to provide urgently needed COVID-19 testing solutions while allowing our community and state to be prepared for future viral threats when they occur."

Chris Kevil, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research

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FAQs Regarding EVT Lab


FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Testing


Latest News on the EVT Lab and Research

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KSLA12- “If the EVT Lab had not existed, quite frankly, I think we’d be in a much darker place here in the northern part of the state,” said Dr. Chris Kevil, vice chancellor of research and one of the leading minds behind creation of the lab. “The EVT Lab has been fundamental in our ability to monitor COVID infections in patients out in this community."

Read More about Amid dark days of pandemic, LSU Health Shreveport’s Emerging Viral Threat Lab stands as a beacon of hope (opens in new window/tab)
LSU Health Shreveport Leads Louisiana  in COVID-19 VIRAL GENOME SEQUENCING

The Emerging Viral Threat (EVT) Lab at LSU Health Shreveport has now sequenced a total 651 Louisiana SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes making them the largest contributor to date of genetic data on SARS-CoV-2 in the state. SARS-CoV-2, which is short for ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2,’ is the virus that causes COVID-19, and viral genome sequencing is contributing to a worldwide effort to fight the ongoing pandemic.

Read More about LSU Health Shreveport Leads Louisiana in COVID-19 VIRAL GENOME SEQUENCING
LSU Health's Emerging Viral Threat Lab makes big impact in first 6 months

KTBS3 - Andrew Yurochko, Professor of Microbiology and Immulogy at LSUHS, shares, “When you think about total tests, 0.1% of the total tests of the entire country are done right here in Northwest Louisiana, where we’ve focused on our own citizens, not just in Shreveport or Caddo Parish, but in all of Region 7 which is Northwest Louisiana.”

Read More about LSU Health's Emerging Viral Threat Lab makes big impact in first 6 months
LSUHS COVID Surveillance Strike Team honored as a Patriot of the Pandemic

The Bossier Chamber of Commerce honored “Patriots of the Pandemic” to recognize those in the community who played key roles in fighting back the pandemic. LSU Health Shreveport’s COVID Surveillance Strike Team received a special Eagle Award for testing coordination inside nursing homes.

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COVID-19 testing administered in drive up testing. LSU Health Shreveport

Health Matters host, Dr. Sanford Katz, was  joined by LSUHS's Andrew Yurochko, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Carroll Feist Chair of Viral Oncology and Dr. John Vanchiere, Chief of the Department of Pediatrics Infectious Diseases. to discuss testing, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

Read More about Testing and Treatment for COVID-19 (opens in new window/tab)
map of COVID19 cases on July 30, 2020

The state's peak in April came mostly from widespread infections in New Orleans. Now the rest of Louisiana is surging, reports William Taylor Potter and Michael Stucka, Lafayette Daily Advertiser and USA TODAY.

Read More about New COVID-19 surge in Louisiana worse than first, and unique as only state with two spikes (opens in new window/tab)
Photo: Scientists at work in the LSU Health Shreveport EVT Lab

Emerging Viral Threat Lab

Photo of scientists at work in the LSU Health Shreveport EVT Lab

Emerging Viral Threat Lab