PAR-18-604 Vet-LIRN Network Capacity-Building ProjectMichigan State UniversityProject SummaryFunds from this grant will be used to purchase a benchtop sequencing platform. This platformwill be used to build the ability in the VDL to leverage WGS in identification of bacteria viatargeted sequencing, small whole genome sequencing and targeted RNA sequencing, that canbe used in support of Vet-LIRN initiatives, in addition to routine diagnostic testing in support ofanimal health.Currently, serotyping is used for identification of Salmonella isolates. Serotyping of Salmonellaassists veterinarians and clinicians in understanding the pathogenic potential of the isolate, andis important for epidemiologic traceback of disease outbreaks. Traditional serotyping is timeconsuming and costly. The primary goal of this year?s project will be to implement the use of abenchtop sequencing platform to sequence-ribotype Salmonella isolates, using a targeted nextgeneration sequencing technique, as a replacement for traditional serotyping.A secondary goal will be to assess the feasibility of using the sequencing platform to identifybacterial pathogens in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues using next generationsequencing techniques that target 16S rDNA (bacteria) or the ITS region (fungi). The ability toidentify pathogens either as part of a diagnostic workup, or retrospectively in a disease outbreakinvestigation where no fresh tissues or samples remain would expand the ability of thelaboratory to detect potential zoonotic diseases (e.g. MRSA in canine skin biopsies) or confirmcases of related food or feed-related diseases from testing of fixed tissues in support of Vet-LIRN initiatives, in addition to routine diagnostic testing in support of animal health, and insupport of human health (zoonotic risks) investigations with other Federal, state and localagencies.