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Agriculture Science Project at the Ohio State University


The objectives of this project are to develop an academic program on new and emerging animal and plant diseases and to develop appropriate containment facility for their study. National conferences will be organized on control of diseases. In addition, support will be provided to existing programs on animal and plant diseases. This will include the programmatic planning of an animal and plant biological safety level 3 facility.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Infectious animal, human and plant diseases continue to emerge and reemerge. There is urgent need to develop research programs in these areas and to form networks, workshops, and scientific conferences dealing with the subject. High security facilities are needed to contain diseases to be studied. <P>
1) Initiate a multidisciplinary academic research program on new and emerging animal and plant diseases, zoonotic diseases, and foodborne diseases; <BR>
2) Develop the infrastructure needed for initiating and maintaining a biocontaminant facility;<BR>
3) Organize, plan and hold a conference on "New Paradigms for the Control of New and Emerging Animal Diseases"; <BR>
4) Purchase equipment needed to conduct research described above; <BR>
5) Visit BL-3 facilities at other institutions; <BR>
6) Develop program of requirements for BL-3 animal and plant facility.
PROGRESS: 2003/09 TO 2006/09 <BR>
1) Research and education programs were initiated in plant pathology to address new and emerging plant diseases of economic importance to Ohio and the region. In particular, preliminary programs were established on soybean rust and sudden oak death identification, in preparation for eventually determining the distribution of these diseases. Additional research was conducted on developing serological diagnostic assays for other emerging diseases, such as aster yellows of vegetables; this work will facilitate development of diagnostic assays for other diseases caused by phytoplasmas. Furthermore, survey sampling models were developed to estimate, with a chosen level of statistical precision, the incidence of a plant disease based on a cluster sampling of plants from the state. The sampling methods, which utilize information on the heterogeneity of disease, will facilitate rapid and accurate detection of new disease outbreaks. A seminar series was held to address issues related to the detection, control, and prediction of emerging and re-emerging diseases of crops and forest trees. <BR>
2) A training program is being developed by our attending veterinarian for the benefit of individuals working in a BSL3 facility.<BR>
3) A symposium on avian influenza featuring national and international speakers was held and well attended. <BR>
4) Several major pieces of equipment were purchased including a microarray, microsphere, and imaging equipment. <BR>
5) Two individuals visited BSL3 facilities at Kansas and California to gain experience on planning, operating, and maintenance of these facilities. <BR>
6) A program of requirement was established for the BSL3 facilities to be constructed at the Wooster Campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

IMPACT: 2003/09 TO 2006/09<BR>

We have shown the diversity within one subtype of influenza A virus in interspecies transmissibility, antigenicity and genetically. These studies facilitate the search for molecular markers that relate to interspecies transmissibility of a given strain of the virus.

Saif, Linda; LeJeune, Jeffrey; Saif, Yehia
Ohio State University
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