Project Number: 6022-32420-001-021-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Jun 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 1, 2026
a) To inactivate pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan parasite) in insect meals. b) To inactivate pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan parasite) in wild-caught insects. c) To inactivate pathogens (viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoan parasite) in farm-raised insects. d) To inactivate pathogens in meat and meat products. e) To inactivate pathogens in pure culture for the development of vaccines for poultry, aquaculture, insectary, swine, and bovine. f) To decontaminate foodborne and other pathogens in ground poultry meat using electron beam technology.
There is a critical need for alternative feed sources for livestock and poultry, and insects are an excellent alternative protein source for animal consumption. Studies have shown that insect meal can replace fishmeal and plant-based components in livestock diets, depending on the animal species. Recently, the European Union approved insect protein for swine and poultry feed. Currently, wild-caught or farm-raised insects are being used in the feed preparation, but there is a growing concern that these insects may carry the pathogenic organism. Controlling the pathogenic organisms is vital without affecting the quality of the feed. Despite strides in addressing pathogens in pre and post-harvest poultry, aquaculture, bovine, swine, outbreaks continue to occur, necessitating the development of novel intervention tools such as vaccines for controlling pathogens in pre-harvest. It is also vital to control pathogens in post-harvest meat and meat products. The pathogens in all the conditions mentioned above can be controlled by using electron beam (eBeam) technology which is available at Cooperator. Therefore, ARS collaborates with Cooperator to develop vaccines against several pathogens and inactivate pathogens in different sources/matrices. Cooperator will inactivate the pathogens. ARS will conduct in vitro and in vivo studies to evaluate the efficacy of the inactivation of the pathogens. Samples for eBeam will be prepared, and the samples will be exposed to eBeam exposure. The eBeam exposed samples will then be subjected to in vitro and in vivo assays to confirm the inactivation of the specific eBeam exposed pathogens. eBeam inactivated pathogens for vaccine preparation will be tested in the host animal for efficacy.