Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 2008
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Citation: Wilson, W.C., Bennett, K.E., Drolet, B.S., Mecham, J.O., Miller, M.M., Reeves, W.K. 2008. USDA, ARS, ABDRL Research on Countermeasures for Rift Valley Fever Virus. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: The United State Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service has recently established research program to address countermeasures for of Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus (RVFV). The recent outbreak in Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia demonstrates the impact this virus can have on human and livestock health. RVF is a veterinary disease that during outbreaks causes mild to fatal disease in humans. A number of challenges exist for the control and prevention of RVF in the areas of vaccines, diagnostics, epidemiology, and entomology. The ARS is investigating RVF countermeasures including insect control, vaccines and diagnostics. Specific areas of interests are risk assessment, differentiating infected from vaccinated animal (DIVA) compatible yet efficacious vaccines, and sensitive, specific and user safe diagnostics tests that support a DIVA vaccine control strategy. The ABADRL is also assessing the epidemiological and entomological factors that affect the distribution and control of RVFV. Through cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, the ABADRL will be involved in assessing the safety of a potential commercial DIVA compatible vaccine candidate. In addition, ABADRL has selected an approach to a DIVA compatible recombinant vaccine that would provide a rapid response to RVFV introduction through collaboration with the University of North Carolina. To complement the DIVA vaccine research, ABADRL will also develop and evaluate the corresponding companion diagnostic tests for RVFV antigens and antibody responses to RVFV. The overall goal of these projects are to utilize the unit’s unique multidisciplinary expertise to fill gaps in what is known about RVFV and provide the tools necessary for combating RVFV should it be accidentally or intentionally introduced into the U.S. To ensure the success of this project, ABADRL has established formal U.S. and international cooperative agreements including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Kenya Department of Veterinary Services, Kansas State University, and Colorado State University. This research is also being conducted in collaboration with ARS, Center for Medical, and Veterinary Entomology and the USDA, APHIS. An informal national task force has been established that meets biannually to assist in coordination of universities and government agencies efforts to prepare the U.S. for the potential introduction of RVFV.