Enhancement of molecular capabilities of the TAMU VMTH CML
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PROJECT SUMMARY Foodborne illness causes significant morbidity and mortality each year in the United States. Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria, all cause infections in people and animals. Although human foodborne illness is usually associated with the consumption of contaminated food, pets can be direct and indirect sources of bacterial pathogens. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Veterinary Laboratory Integrated Response Network (Vet-LIRN) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Cooperative Agreement Program is designed to promote human and animal health by providing scientific information and building laboratory capacity for routine and emergency response for investigation of outbreaks and to investigate problems with animal feeds and drugs. Detection of outbreaks requires the ability to collect samples from geographically diverse areas. Texas is home to 25 million people, second only to California in human population, and leads the nation in horse and cattle populations. It is therefore important to understand the dynamics of foodborne diseases among animals and people within the State of Texas. The Texas A&M University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital Clinical Microbiology Laboratory currently serves as a FDA Vet-LIRN Laboratory. Members of the laboratory have helped to develop Vet-LIRN methods for detection, including molecular detection, of Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni, participated in proficiency testing, and collecting and analyzing samples as part of Vet-LIRN investigations. The objective of this proposal is to validate the C. jejuni gyrA PCR for testing bovine feces and to replace aging real-time PCR equipment with new equipment compatible with that used in other veterinary diagnostic laboratories for detection of nucleic acid from foodborne pathogens with equipment. Validation of the method for this matrix will allow rapid, efficient detection of pathogens in samples from animals to support the FDA Vet-LIRN mission of protecting human and animal health by prompt recognition of outbreaks and testing of samples associated with outbreaks.