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Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases


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Department of Homeland Security Funded Projects


Field Deployable Miniature Biosensor for Genomic Signature Based ASFV and CSFV Detection and Characterization

Orion Biosciences

PI: Willy Valdivia

07/01/2014 – 06/30/2016


This proposal seeks to develop a next generation multiplexed and sensitive nucleic-acid and protein based pathogen detection and characterization platform to recognize in situ transboundary animal diseases such as ASFV and CSFV. The main characteristics of this assay will be: portability, user-friendly performance, sensitivity, specificity, low costs and integration with biosurveillance environments.


Evaluation and Translation of Point of Need Molecular Diagnostics for Transboundary, Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Agents
Kansas State University
PI:  Jessie Trujillo
Co-PI:  Igor Morozov
07/01/2013 – 06/30/2016


The overall goal of this research project is the development and validation of Point of Need (PON) molecular diagnostic assays using a portable PCR device for emergency use in the field for rapid detection and differentiation of Food and Mouth Disease virus (FMDV), Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV), and Classical Swine Fever virus (CSFV). Additionally, this project will establish a consortium of national and international collaborators and end users to employ a five-stage evaluation/translational pipeline for the development and validation of future field deployable diagnostics devices. This pipeline is necessary of the success of this project to insure expectation of performance of emergency deployable PCR.


Pathogen Detection and Discovery

Columbia University          PI: Ian Lipkin

Columbia University          Co-PI: Thomas Briese

South Dakota State University   Co-PI: Jane Christopher-Hennings

Kansas State University               Co-PI: Richard Hesse

07/01/2010 – 06/30/2016


The Pathogen Detection and Discovery project will provide DHS and related agencies with state-of-the-art multiplex detection technologies for pathogen surveillance and discovery to protect US agriculture against high consequence foreign, emerging, and/or zoonotic disease threats through rapid detection and identification of foreign, new, and even synthetic agents. The Pathogen Detection and Discovery theme specifically addresses one of the four areas outlined in the Homeland Security Presidential Directive with three main objectives: I) deliver highly multiplexed MassTag PCR assays to enhance laboratory surveillance and diagnostic capabilities, II) optimize and advance metagenomic high-throughput sequencing approaches for pathogen discovery in idiopathic disease conditions or in high-consequence, emerging and/or zoonotic disease events, and III) build high-throughput immunological assays for demonstration of an adaptive immune response to newly discovered agents and thus rapidly assessing active infection and potential pathogenicity, and the prevalence of infection with such agents. Such assays can be also applied for known pathogens to segregate immunized animals based on a Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) approach. Rapid, sensitive and accurate detection of threat agents is a key component of protecting US agriculture against foreign, emerging and/or zoonotic diseases. Delivery of rapid multiplex PCR detection assays capable of diagnosing threat agents as well as agents relevant in their differential diagnosis, will aid this goal. The project will also provide a valuable resource by maintaining and expanding the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (KSVDL) Infectious Agent Bank to support diagnostics development with reference materials, and to allow retrospective studies with which to determine when newly identified agents began to circulate in US livestock populations. Note: This project leverages other funding sources to support this work.