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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Evaluation of Infrared Thermography As a Screening Method for Early Detection of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Infected Cattle

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this project is to identify a distinct profile for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) infected cattle that differentiates them from other conditions or illnesses, utilizing infrared thermatography (IR). Together with collaborators from Vision Air Research, Foreign Animal Zoonotic Disease (FADZ) Center, the Texas Cattle Feeders Association and FLIR Infrared Cameras, ARS, PIADC will assist in the determination of the thermal pattern of FMDV infected cattle using infrared thermatography with each of the serotypes and subtypes of FMDV under laboratory conditions. The specific ARS, PIADC objective is to determine if cattle with abnormal temperature profiles produced by Foot-and-Mouth Disease infection can be detected by IRT.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Data will be collected in laboratory infections at ARS, PIADC to determine association between thermal IR signatures and disease progression in cattle infected with various FMDV serotypes and in FMDV-vaccinated vs. naïve animals. A controlled environment with both "known" non-infected and infected cows securing identification of the thermal infrared signature for FMD. Images will be collected at ARS, PIADC to determine association between thermal IR and pattern and disease progression with carious FMD serotypes in both vaccinated and naive cows and cattle directly inoculated or infected with FMDV by contact exposure during vaccine trials and pathogenesis studies.


3.Progress Report:

The goal of this research project is to evaluate the use of infrared thermography (IRT) as a screening method for the detection of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) infected cattle and the potential application of this technology to aid in the identification and sampling of suspected animals for confirmatory diagnostic testing. During FY 2012 baseline infrared data from uninfected cattle with multiple interfering variables has been done to assess the usability of the camera. The project was initially delayed due to technical problems with the camera which has subsequently been replaced. A standard operating procedure was developed to facilitate bringing the camera back and forth from the lab and animal rooms to keep the camera uncontaminated yet allowing for the data to be retrieved through the use of a plastic bag. The average eye temperature was measured and the difference factored into the readings. One of the main sites of inflammation in cattle are the hooves. Analysis was conducted on the hooves and lower legs of dry, dirty cattle and wet, clean cattle. It was determined that dry, dirty cattle are 2*C colder than wet, clean cattle. Temperatures do not normalize until up to 3 hours after washing. Further analysis was conducted on cattle that were tranquilized. Anesthesia lowers the body temperature, and so the effects of the treatment and how long it took for the body to recover were recorded. After learning how the variables effect the thermographic patterns, the cattle were infected with a contact challenge with FMDV and the thermographic differences measured. In addition, “iButtons were attached to the leg of the cattle to measure the temperature throughout the experiment. This reading was done every 5 minutes. Analysis is currently being conducted on the iButton-reported temperatures with the infrared camera-generated temperatures to assess both the integrity of the camera temperatures and to see if the thermal changes due to washing and tranquilization are consistent with both methods of temperature determination.

No new technologies have been produced or transferred to date from this ongoing work. No peer-reviewed publications have been produced to date from this ongoing work.


Last Modified: 4/16/2014
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