NJDA Animal Diagnostic Laboratory is a member of NAHLN and currently tests for AI and CSF. Staff is certified to also run FMD and END. Avian influenza continues to be an important disease that concerns health organizations globally. New Jersey is one of the key states that carry out surveillance in very unique environments that consist of live bird markets. Detection of a strain that poses risk to animal or human population is critical for early containment. We collaborate with Wildlife Services to test in the wildlife population. We have been doing this for AI and have recently begun to do CSF for feral swine. We also test samples for other states from slaughter. During these years as members of NAHLN laboratory staff has trained and been certified in the approved protocols by USDA to run AI, END, CSF, FMD. We have purchased equipment that has allowed us to improve our testing capabilities and our throughput. Participating in other programs and receiving other grant funds we are in the process of getting a new LIMS that will streamline the business processes of the laboratory and will be capable of HL7 messaging to the NAHLN repository. We want to continue to improve our testing capabilities and to be a part of the national surveillance system for foreign animal disease and for emerging diseases. The Division of Animal Health will continue to enhance the capability of the NJ Animal Diagnostic Laboratory. The NJDA Animal Diagnostic Laboratory has worked to be prepared to respond to emergency in animal disease outbreak and participate in the ongoing surveillance; prevent foreign animal diseases from entering the US and carrying out early detection and eradication if necessary. We continue to make strides in the modernization of the laboratory for this purpose we want to purchase equipment that will automate some or most of the processes required for the new testing protocols. This will allow us for faster turn around time and higher throughput of samples with less staff. We need to continue to receive training in specific areas to keep staff current in new testing procedures and to hire staff that can help the laboratory with data entry and sample preparation.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: With the funding fromm this CSREES grant we plan to purchase new equipment to help automate the testing capabilities of the laboratory. With reduced budgets we have limitations with in our ability to hire; staff is one of the limiting factors to our testing capabilities. Even when we automate our tests we continue to need staff that will help perform the required steps in the test processes and the data entry that increased testing generates. We hope to accomplish both with funds from this grant. Some training is always required to keep staff current in scientific methods and we foresee sending to these when required and available.
<P>APPROACH: CSREES grant for NAHLN labs have helped laboratories step up to the level expected to respond to potential disease outbreak and performance regular surveillance. The laboratory with the contrivution of the CSREES funds has been capable of staffing and equipping it to follow the SOP's set out by NVSL. We are active participants in the AI surveillance of great importacne in the NE of the US due to its unique LBM and movement of poultry. We are also involved in CSF testing and receive samples form ohter states. We plan to be nvolved in additional testing as they are deplyed by NVSL.