One Health in ACTION...
Vaccines and Diagnostics Workshop
An interdisciplinary group of 160 scientists from academia, industry and government met from September 17th to 19th, 2012 in Ames, Iowa for a workshop on Vaccines and Diagnostics for Transboundary Diseases. The workshop was sponsored by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, as well as Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD) www.ceezad.org/ and three other organizations—the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the International Alliance for Biological Standardization (IABS). With Professors James Roth of Iowa State University (USA) and Juergen Richt of Kansas State University (USA) as co-chairs, the workshop aimed to improve communication among a group of people with quite diverse experience, setting out a gap analysis of where we are now and where we need to be in translating research into new vaccines and diagnostics for specific high priority transboundary animal diseases.
Eleven diseases were considered—Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Exotic Newcastle Disease, Rift Valley Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease, Nipah and Hendra, African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever, Schmallenberg virus, Q Fever, Heartwater and Ebola. The goal was to consider the research and development priorities for vaccines and diagnostics for each of these diseases, in order to create and develop effective tools for emergency use in the event of an outbreak of any of these transboundary diseases. Effective disease preparation also requires improved surveillance and early detection with new technology being developed and utilized around the world.
Some 30 presentations were made at the workshop, offering participants an opportunity to learn about and then discuss significant Transboundary animal diseases. Several participants reflected on the importance of embracing the One Health perspective in which the roles of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental care were viewed as an interactive unity. Closing the workshop, Professor Roth stressed how world population would rise from the present 7 billion people to 9.1 billion by 2050, requiring us to anticipate and face now both the imminent world food crisis and the increasing animal disease crisis in which 70% of human communicable diseases are first emerging in animals. Professor Richt focused on the need to create new markets in vaccines and diagnostic tools, especially for diseases that were not yet present in the United States, but might arrive unexpectedly at any time.
Manuscripts covering the development of vaccines and diagnostic tools for all eleven diseases, as well as linked industrial and economic issues, are now being edited and will appear early in 2013 in the journal, Developments in Biologicals. Consideration is being given as to whether a follow-up workshop might be organized in a few years to measure progress and assess new challenges. CEEZAD itself is now completing the second year of its six years of funding from the Department of Homeland Security.
Robert E. Kahn, PhD
Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD)
Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas (USA)