The Early and Rapid Diagnosis of Transboundary Animal Diseases such as Avian Influenza (D3.20.25)

Objective:

The development of sensitive, specific and rapid early detection technologies including penside or hand-held systems to detect and or confirm harmful pathogens present in (1) animals before the onset of disease, (2) animals in the “disease carrier” status or (3) very low numbers in animals or populations of animals to respond to harmful animal disease events, and those of zoonotic nature, in a timely way.

Activities:

This CRP will involve research and diagnostic laboratory evaluation of hardware and protocols in targeted Member State laboratories in collaboration with private commercial partners. Validation of new tests as well as comparison to conventional tests will be essential. There is also a vital element that commercial and institutional organizations developing tests will act as agreement holders to benefit from validation advantage that the CRP, with its wide range of contract holders from different countries, brings. The Joint FAO/IAEA Programme has maintained the technology transfer of PCR and conventional diagnostic methods (e.g. ELISA) for the past 20 years and there is a cadre of well trained personnel to allow the uptake and development of a new system(s) who might be available to the CRP to develop new methods. This will be accomplished by:

  • Agreement on specific systems to be examined and methods reported.
  • To produce harmonized SOPs that are easy to perform, mobile (compact), robust, rugged and where results can be read unambiguously by relatively untrained staff and that are compatible with international databases.
  • Development and evaluation of machines, primers and reagents to allow development of laboratory based tests and validate the tests to OIE stage 1 and 2 by comparison with conventional (accepted tests) using both serum samples and those for direct antigen testing where possible.
  • Modification of laboratory based systems to allow for mobility and simplicity in the field.
  • Validation of mobile tests to OIE stage 1 and 2.
  • Field testing of mobile isothermal devises in a routine diagnostic environment and comparison of sample data to laboratory based testing.

Eighteen Research Contracts and Agreements Contracts have been awarded to member state organizations in Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vietnam, Netherlands, Sweden and USA.

The third Research Coordination Meeting is being held in Rome, Italy, 10 - 14 May 2010.

Project Officer:

G. Viljoen