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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Rodriguez, Luis L
Research Leader
(631) 323-3200
Plum Island Animal Disease Center
40550, Route 25
Orient Point NY 11944

The Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit at Plum Island Animal Disease Center is the primary laboratory in ARS responsible for research on foreign animal diseases (FAD) of livestock, such as foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, African swine fever and vesicular stomatitis, diseases that could be accidentally or deliberately introduced into the United States in acts of agro-terrorism. The mission of the Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit is to carry out the research needed to understand the pathogenesis of these microbes and the host response to them, and to translate this knowledge into useful interventions and diagnostic tools for an effective response. This mission is accomplished by basic and applied research directed toward: 1) understanding the genomic structure, viral factors determining virulence and molecular pathogenesis of FAD agents; 2) determining the pathogenesis and mechanism of defense and host resistance against FAD agents in livestock species; 3) understanding the evolution and field epidemiology of FAD agents; and 4) developing effective disease control strategies including novel agent detection methods, better vaccines and antiviral drugs.


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