Diagnostics: We will continue our participation in the national wildbird AI surveillance and anticipate the testing of approximately 1,200 birds for biological year 2009-2010. We will participate in the influenza H1N1 surveillance efforts and the comprehensive swine surveillance program. We will also participate in the CSF surveillance program upon renewal of the cooperative agreement. <P>
Training and Education: Two additional technical staff certified to conduct AI testing will be trained to work under BSL3 conditions. One additional staff member will be trained to conduct high-throughput testing for CSF and FMD. We will complete the high-throughput training of all technical staff currently certified to conduct AI testing. One additional person will be trained to perform egg- inoculation for AI virus isolation. <P>
IT and Data Management: Maintenance of aliases in response to NAHLN terminology updates will continue throughout the 2009 fiscal year. Aliasing will be completed in the Cerner production environment to prepare for the completion of the NAHLN interface. Analysts are reviewing current specifications in both NAHLN and Cerner in preparation for the transmission and validation testing from our build environment. Additionally, we are implementing the standard HL7 interface in the production environment to allow us to migrate the build version of our system to production once the testing is complete. <P>
Quality Assurance: The Quality Assurance Unit will continue to manage the NAHLN controlled documents. In addition, the current DCPAH procedure outlining the receipt and distribution of external controlled documents will be revised. The revised process will implement improvements directed at improving communication and documentation of new and/or revised external documents. <P>
Interface with Research: Drs. Steve Bolin, Roger Maes, and Annabel Wise had a funded cooperative agreement with the Southeast Regional Poultry Lab of ARS to evaluate several factors relating to the performance of AI RT-PCR analyses. Specifically, they evaluated the stability of frozen complete PCR master-mix versus freshly made master-mix over a period of 13 weeks. The relative sensitivity of various magnetic bead-based platforms (King Fisher 24, Qiagen Biosprint 96, and hand-held/manual extraction) for extraction of AI viral RNA from bird feces was also evaluated. The extraction platforms were evaluated using virus-spiked fecal samples from four different species of waterfowl. Each sample was tested in three serial tenfold dilutions. In connection with this study we will conduct a cost analysis on the use of frozen complete PCR master- mix versus freshly made master-mix and an analysis on the use of various magnetic bead-based RNA extraction platforms.
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: In the event of an animal health emergency, such as introduction of a foreign animal disease in Michigan, our laboratory would likely be called upon by the MDA, MDNR, MDCH, or activated by the NAHLN to process large numbers of samples in a very short timeframe. The DCPAH is a very large and busy laboratory with a national client base, and our ability to meet the needs of these clients would be in jeopardy if large numbers of samples were to arrive as part of the incursion of a foreign animal disease. Since over 80% of our operating budget is generated from income, loss of a portion of this clientele due to our inability to provide them with timely results would likely cause a long- term financial hardship for the laboratory that could lead to reductions in staff. With supplemental funding provided through a cooperative agreement, additional trained staff would be retained and available to handle the increased caseload. In the future, additional funding for expanding numbers of receiving room personnel (for entering cases) and technical staff (for processing tests, reporting results, packaging and shipping presumptive positive samples, maintaining inventories of reagents and materials) would greatly augment our ability to meet the expected needs of the animal health community. Funding is critical to allow the laboratory to continue to participate at the current level of testing and will help the DCPAH commit an increased number of personnel to be trained to conduct the testing that can drive the continued development of the NAHLN interface. Equally important, funding is needed to support the increased laboratory and administrative workload associated with receiving samples for these tests and reporting results of these tests in a format not routinely used by the DCPAH. We are frequently doing double data entry to capture testing results in both our LIMS system and in the preferred reporting format for each unit requesting results for their particular surveillance request. Continued development of the NAHLN interface and acceptance by the supporting constituency groups should help minimize this duplication of effort. In addition to the continued development of laboratory personnel and processes, in order to continue development of the NAHLN interface, additional core build and aliasing activities need to be performed on the existing LIMS system. This would expand our current reporting capability from 3 tests (CSF, NDV, and AI) to all currently identified Select Agents. Aliasing and maintaining SnoMed codes will become more problematic and labor intensive as the list of tests and species continues to expand. Interface configuration and testing as the NAHLN database develops and allows additional data will require more robust testing at a higher volume. Our current surveillance efforts will support this once the investment in the technical build can be made.
<P>APPROACH: Admin.002.01 Receipt and Distribution of External Controlled Procedures ADMN.017.02 Reportable Diseases in Michigan ADMN.032.01 LRN Activities ADMN.037.01 Reporting the Identification of a Select Biological Agent or Toxin ADMN.039.04 Biosecurity Policy Regarding Work with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus ADMIN.041.03 Transfer and handling of High Risk Tissues/Fluids within DCPAH These SOPs and the continued development of other supporting processes within the Diagnostic Center prepare the laboratory for an animal agriculture catastrophe. The DCPAH continues to move forward to reach NAHLN goals through many of its strategic initiatives as mentioned above. Continued participation in the CREES Cooperative Agreement for the NAHLN is a required activity for this laboratory.