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ISU VDL Capacity Building and Methods Development Grant


PROJECT SUMMARYContamination of feed for food producing animals or food for companion animals not only can harm animals,but can also cause residues that can harm people. For example, in the melamine food outbreak of 2007,detection of melanine in pet food preceded detection of the same in infant formula which sickened and killedchildren in China. Therefore, rapid detection of toxins in animal food/feed can protect public health. Themelamine food outbreak of 2007 revealed many deficiencies in veterinary diagnostic laboratory capacity torapidly detect and quantify food contamination during emergency outbreaks. This led to founding, 6-7 yearsago, of Vet-LIRN, a network of Federal, State, and University Laboratories whose function is to catalyze thedevelopment of new and rapid tissue-based analytical techniques, provide for well-equipped and well-staffedfacilities, improve the effectiveness of partnerships to coordinate food safety and defense resources to reducethe incidence of foodborne illnesses, and to increase communication among network labs. The Iowa StateUniversity Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ISU VDL) is a founding member and an avid supporter andparticipant in network activities. Whereas this has broken down the ?silo? mentality of individual labs andimproved communication, a lot more remains to be done to protect animal health and public health. Thisproject proposal has two Specific Aims:Specific Aim #1: Capacity building of the ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. To improve readiness of ourlaboratory we need to keep our equipment and staff in a ?ready? mode to quickly and efficiently respond toVPO?s calls. We propose to purchase equipment, pay for service agreements, fund travel for our laboratorypersonnel to attend FDA meetings and continuing education, maintain our participation in Vet-LIRN activitiessuch as inter-laboratory proficiency testing exercises. We will support surge capacity testing during large scaleanimal food/feed emergency events and participate in short-term surveillance and related activities identifiedby the VPO. We will also participate in inter-laboratory validation of tests originating from other labs.Specific Aim #2: To develop and validate tissue-based diagnostic method(s) for diagnosis of sodiummonofluoroacetate rodenticide intoxication in animals. Intentional contamination of food for food animals by thisrodenticide can harm both the health of the animals and the economy of agricultural states like Iowa. The USgovernment has identified sodium monofluoroacetate as a priority pesticide for research because:a) It potentially could to be used as a chemical weapon, andb) There is no antidote to it and it is associated with a high mortality and high morbidity rates both in humansand animals. The knowledge gap, which is a major concern and is to be addressed by this proposal, is thatrapid tissue-based diagnostic methods for this toxicant are lacking. The ISU-VDL will lead the effort to developtissue-based analytical methods based on common technology platforms ie HPLC fluorescence and/or IonChromatography. We propose to conduct both intra-lab-and inter-lab validation of tissue-based analyticalmethods developed from this proposal.If funded, the ISU VDL will maintain full functionality as a Vet-LIRN laboratory, with readiness to contribute tothe FDA mission in fulfilment of requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Rumbeiha, Wilson Kiiza
University of California - Davis
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