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NAHLN: PA

Investigators
Acland, Helen
Institutions
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Start date
2005
End date
2009
Objective
  1. The acquisition of a centrifuge designed to handle 96 well plates will enhance the laboratory's throughput of real time RT-PCR tests. One of our most frequently performed PCR tests is for avian influenza virus. Currently, there is a bottleneck on sample preparation, with the number of samples that can be centrifuged at a time in RNA extraction being limited to 24. The centrifuging step is for half an hour, so more than 2 hours can be spent getting 96 samples ready for the next step. Based on available thermocyclers, our current theoretical maxim throughput of AI PCR tests is 444 in a 7.5 hour shift, and this centrifuge would help us meet or exceed this number.
  2. Purchase of a biological safety cabinet for a repurposed room in the laboratory would allow the room to be used for handling infectious agents in diagnostic work. The cabinet would be used in processing samples for extraction of nucleic acid in preparation for performing PCR tests. The laboratory is approved to perform the following NAHLN PCR tests: AI, END, CSF, FMD. Dedicated extraction space decreases the risk of nucleic acid contamination of samples in processing.
  3. Gel electrophoresis equipment: For verifying the amplicons for classical swine fever and foot and mouth virus assays where suspect reactions are observed by the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL)-NAHLN assay, a confirmation can be quickly obtained with this instrumentation by running rapidly a gel to determine specificity of the reaction. The instrument's software can determine the band size with precision, taking the guess work out of reading gels. If needed, up to 96 samples can be evaluated with this instrument within 2 hours.
  4. The cooling unit for the walk-in necropsy cooler at the laboratory is in need of major refurbishing. The walk-in cooler is used for holding animal and bird carcasses prior to diagnostic work being performed. From time to time, the cooler is also used to receive, and hold for our incinerator, large numbers of chickens or other birds killed when premise depopulation is mandated after avian influenza diagnosis is made. The cooling unit in need of refurbishing is original to the building, now 12 years old. Numerous repairs have been performed, and the unit is now beyond repair. About 3 years ago, a supplementary compressor was added to the system for the walk in cooler. The plan is to refurbish the original cooling unit, with new compressor, evaporator, coil, belts, piping etc.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The 4 work items are purchase and use of laboratory instruments and refurbishing and use of laboratory infrastructure related to improving laboratory test capacity, turn around time, worker safety, and biocontainment, or to limiting contamination of test samples in processing. The instruments and infrastructure will support testing for the foreign animal diseases for which the laboratory has been approved within the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

APPROACH: The 4 work items are purchase and use of laboratory instruments and refurbishing and use of laboratory infrastructure related to improving laboratory test capacity, turn around time, worker safety, and biocontainment, or to limiting contamination of test samples in processing. The instruments and infrastructure will support testing for the foreign animal diseases for which the laboratory has been approved within the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
PENW-2008-04482
Accession number
215330
Categories
Risk Assessment, Management, and Communication
Bacterial Pathogens
Viruses and Prions
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game