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International Training Grant Program Launches

The Program for Enhancing the Health and Productivity of Livestock (PEHPL) is now underway. Graduate students Zoë Campbell and Ashley Railey have spent the early part of fall semester on the WSU Pullman campus before taking off October 1 for a year at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. Supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PEHPL is a collaboration between NM-AIST, WSU, Penn State, University of Glasgow, and the Scottish Rural College. A key program objective is to train a multidisciplinary cohort of scientists to address issues affecting livestock health and associated household well-being of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Zoe and Ashley
Zoë Campbell (left) and Ashley Railey
Zoë is already familiar with Tanzania and fluent in Swahili, having served with the Peace Corps as an Environmental Extension Officer in Mbeya from 2012-2014. Her PEHPL project, titled “Identifying determinants and impacts of Newcastle Disease Virus vaccine uptake at the smallholder household level,” will identify barriers to use of the existing NDV vaccine and potential strategies for increasing its use to reduce mortality of chickens in smallholder flocks. Dr. Guy Palmer is chair of Zoë’s advisory committee.

Ashley recently completed Peace Corp service in the Dominican Republic, working with members of a cacao collective as a Community Economic Advisor. Her PEHPL project, “Identification and adoption of HACCP systems in minimizing Foot and Mouth Disease in northern Tanzania,” will investigate the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point management system as a method for controlling the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease and improving food safety in Tanzania. Dr. Tom Marsh is chair of Ashley’s advisory committee.

Ashley and Zoë are part of a cohort of 16 students from East Africa, the US and Scotland participating in the program. They will return to Pullman for the 2016-2017 academic year, then head back to Tanzania to complete their dissertation research.


Research News


Grants Awarded:


Dr. Anders Omsland received an NIH R21 award for his project titled “Regulation of Chlamydia trachomatis development via the stringent response.” The 2-year, $406,543 award will investigate the sexually transmitted Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium; variants of C. trachomatis can cause trachoma, a leading cause of preventable blindness in developing countries. This project will determine whether the bacterial stringent response regulates differentiation between infectious and replicative cell forms of C. trachomatis.

Dr. Tim Baszler is the PI on the following recently awarded or renewed grants and contracts:

  • Strengthening quality management and biosafety/biosecurity at the National Veterinary Research Institute (NaVRI), Cambodia. The project is funded by the International Training and Education Center for Health, via a sub-award from University of Washington. $140,896 for a one-year project period.
  • The Vet-LIRN Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Program, US Food and Drug Administration annual renewal, $21,500.
  • Expanded Testing Methods for Elements and Metals in Animal Diagnostic Specimens, US Food and Drug Administration annual renewal, $99,000.
  • National Animal Health Laboratory Network, USDA-NIFA annual renewal, $202,000.
  • Training Program in Support of Quality Management Systems in Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Networks, USDA-APHIS-VS annual renewal, $16,500.

Congratulations to faculty, staff and students on recent publications:


Besser TE, Schmidt CE, Shah DH, Shringi S. (2014). "Preharvest" food safety for Escherichia coli O157 and other pathogenic shiga toxin-producing strains. MicrobiologySpectrum 2(5):EHEC-0021-2013. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.EHEC-0021-2013

Elfenbein JR, Knodler LA, Nakayasu ES, Ansong C, Brewer HM, Bogomolnaya L, Adams LG, McClelland M, Adkins JN, Andrews-Polymenis HL. (2015). Multicopy single-stranded DNA directs intestinal colonization of enteric pathogens. PLoS Genetics 11(9):e1005472. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005472

Gliniewicz K, Wildung M, Orfe LH, Wiens GD, Cain KD, Lahmers KK, Snekvik KR, Call DR. (2015). Potential mechanisms of attenuation for rifampcin-passaged strains of Flavobacterium psychrophilum. BMC Microbiology 15:179. doi: 10.1186/s12866-015-0518-1.

Guard J, Sanchez-Ingunza R, Shah DH, Rothrock MJ, Gast RK, Jones DR. (2015). Recovery of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis from hens initially infected with serovar Kentucky. Food Chemistry 189:86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.02.018

Ha PT, Renslow RS, Atci E, Reardon PN, Lindemann SR, Fredrickson JK, Call DR, Beyenal H. (2015). Regulation of electron transfer processes affects phototrophic mat structure and activity. Frontiers in Microbiology 6:909. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00909

Ip HS, Torchetti MK, Crespo R, Kohrs P, DeBruyn P, Mansfield KG, Baszler T, Badcoe L, Bodenstein B, Shearn-Boschler V, Killian ML, Pedersen JC, Hines N, Gidlewski T, DeLiberto T, Sleeman, JM. (2015). Novel Eurasian highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses in wild birds, Washington, USA, 2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases 21 (5): 886-890. doi: 10.3201/eid2105.142020

Martínez-Chavarría LC, and Vadyvaloo V. (2015). Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection: a regulatory RNA perspective. Frontiers in Microbiology 6:956. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00956

Mosites EM, Rabinowitz PM, Thumbi SM, Montgomery JM, Palmer GH, May S, Rowhani-Rahbar A, Neuhouser ML, Walson JL. (2015). The relationship between livestock ownership and child stunting in three countries in Eastern Africa using national survey data. PLoS One. 10(9):e0136686. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136686

Nanyingi MO, Munyua P, Kiama SG, Muchemi GM, Thumbi SM, Bitek AO, Bett B, Muriithi RM, Njenga MK. (2015). A systematic review of Rift Valley Fever epidemiology 1931-2014. Infection Ecology & Epidemiology 5:28024. doi: 10.3402/iee.v5.28024

Osoro EM, Munyua P, Omulo S, Ogola E, Ade F, Mbatha P, Mbabu M, Nganga Z, Kairu S, Maritim M, Thumbi SM, Bitek A, Gaichugi S, Rubin C, Njenga K, Guerra M. (2015). Strong association between human and animal Brucella seropositivity in a linked study in Kenya, 2012-2013. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 93(2):224-231. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0113

Schubiger CB, Orfe LH, Sudheesh PS, Cain KD, Shah DH, Call DR. (2015). Entericidin is required for a probiotic treatment (Enterobacter sp. strain C6-6) to protect trout from cold-water disease challenge. Applied Environmental Microbiology 81(2):658-665. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02965-14

Vadyvaloo, V.*, and Hinz, A.K. (2015). A LysR-type transcriptional regulator, RovM, senses nutritional cues suggesting that it is Involved in metabolic adaptation of Yersinia pestis to the flea gut. PLoS One 10, e0137508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137508. * corresponding author

Zhao Z, Eberhart LJ, Orfe LH, Lu SY, Besser T, Call DR. (2015). Genome-wide screening identifies six genes that are associated with susceptibility to Escherichia coli microcin PDI. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 81(20):6953-6963. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01704-15.

Student and Fellow News

Jessica Klein, a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Leigh Knodler, was one of four students in the College of Veterinary Medicine to receive a Poncin Fellowship award this year. The $24,145 scholarship supports students engaged in biomedical research in the state of Washington. Applications are reviewed and ranked by the CVM Research Committee prior to being sent to the Poncin Fellowship Trust for selection. Jessica’s project is titled "The Role of Type III Secretion Systems in Vacuole Rupture and Cytosolic Proliferation of Salmonella enterica."


Students in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Zambriski completed summer research projects on the diarrheal parasite Cryptosporidium, a pathogen of both calves and humans. Geneva Graef (‘18 DVM) conducted a project evaluating two different means of sample analysis and parasite quantification to assess use of a housing method that may improve calf welfare. Global Animal Health Certificate student Lance Kidder (‘18 DVM), supported by a CVM Summer Research Scholarship, evaluated calf immunity and resistance to reinfection with Cryptosporidium. Natalie Hurst, a WSU Honors College undergraduate student in Animal Sciences, was supported by Auvil Research Fellowship to study the impact of confinement housing on the behavior of calves infected with Cryptosporidium.

Sammy the Wonder Dog

From left, Tracy Sy (lab manager), Dr. Zambriski, Geneva Graef, Lance Kidder and Natalie Hurst at the 5D Dairy Farm field site in Pasco, WA. Also pictured is Sammy the Wonder Dog.


Dr. Emily Mosites has accepted a postdoctoral position in the NIH Infectious Diseases and Microbial Immunology Training Program. She will be working with Drs. Guy Palmer and Thumbi Mwangi on analysis of the impact of nutrition and infectious diseases on childhood growth and health in western Kenya. Dr. Mosites completed her PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Washington under the supervision of Drs. Judd Walson and Peter Rabinowitz.


Dr. Petronella Hove has accepted a postdoctoral position in the lab of Dr. Doug Call. She recently completed her PhD in the lab of Dr. Troy Bankhead, with her thesis project titled “The Role of Linear Plasmid 28-1 in the Pathogenesis of Infection by Borrelia burgdorferi.” Dr. Hove will be working on a recently funded NIH R21 project entitled “Tetracycline resistance: the Achilles’ heel of antibiotic resistance?” She is also serving as the Global Health Program Coordinator responsible for managing the Global Animal Health Certificate Program at the Allen School.

Members of Dr. Call’s lab presented their work at the 2nd AFRICE Conference, Infectious Disease Symposium, June 18-19, 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the meeting was Antimicrobial use and resistance in Eastern Africa:

  • Postdoc associate Dr. Murugan Subbiah’s paper, “Maasai households in northern Tanzania harbor a higher prevalence of antibiotic resistant E. coli compared with Chagga households,” was selected for oral presentation. Co-authors are Mark Caudell, Rob Quinlan, Marsha Quinlan, Deogratius Mshanga, Louise Matthews, Julius Keyyu and Doug Call.
  • Graduate student Sylvia Omulo’s paper, “40 years of antimicrobial resistance research in Eastern Africa: what can be done better?” was also selected for oral presentation. Co-authors are Thumbi Mwangi, MK Njenga and Doug Call.

Dr. George Wudiri, graduate student in the lab of Dr. Anthony Nicola, presented a poster at the 40th International Herpesvirus Workshop held at Boise Idaho, July 24-29, 2015. The poster was titled “Influence of the hydrocarbon tail of sterols in the HSV-1 envelope on viral entry and infectivity.”

Pedro Panzenhagen, a PhD student from the Dept. of Food Science, Faculty of Veterinary Fluminense Federal University (FVFFU), Brazil, has joined the lab of Dr. Devendra Shah for a one-year appointment. Pedro’s doctoral dissertation research will focus on unravelling molecular mysteries underlying invasive Salmonella infections in human patients in Brazil. This research is a part of collaborative effort between the Shah lab, Dr. Carlos Adam Cante, Jr., at FVFFU and Dr. Dalia Rodriguez at the National Enterobacteria Reference Lab in Brazil. Pedro’s visit is sponsored by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES).

Faculty and Staff News

Drs. Thumbi Mwangi and MK Njenga, together with colleagues from CDC-Kenya and Kenya’s Zoonotic Disease Unit, led a team of about 40 professionals working in the human health and animal health sectors in Kenya in a 2.5 day meeting to prioritize and rank zoonotic diseases in Kenya. The meeting was held at the Merica Hotel in Nakuru County, September 2- 4, 2015. Using semi-quantitative tools to prioritize diseases, the meeting developed a ranked list of 38 zoonotic diseases of importance in Kenya - enabling rational allocation of resources towards surveillance, research, prevention and control. A photo of the participants is below.


Dr. Leigh Knodler was elected to a 2-year term as Councilor for the American Society for Microbiology, Northwest branch.

Dr. Knodler presented an invited seminar at the ASM General Meeting in New Orleans, held May 30-June 2, 2015, titled "The Intestinal Epithelial Cell Inflammasome.” She also gave an invited seminar at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign this September, titled “Salmonella enterica: a vacuolar or cytosolic pathogen?"

Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo was one of ten female faculty members invited to present at the recent Association for Faculty Women’s WSU Regents and Research Poster Reception. The title of her poster presentation was “The Bubonic Plague: Transmission and Persistence.” The event was held on September 16, 2015.

Dr. Anders Omsland presented two seminars in Beijing, China this August. The first, at China Agricultural University, was titled “Metabolic specialization of Chlamydia trachomatis cell forms.” The second, at Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, was titled “Coxiella burnetii: Host cell-free culture sheds light on niche adaptation.”

Dr. Anthony Nicola accepted a renewal of his appointment to the editorial board of the Journal of Virology through 2018. Journal of Virology is published by the American Society of Microbiology and has an ISI Impact factor of 4.439.

Dr. Margaret Davis has been invited to present at the US - Qatar Women in Science event to be held in Doha, Qatar, October 27-29. The workshop, co-sponsored by CRDF Global and the Qatar National Research Federation, offers Qatar attendees networking and mentorship opportunities with participating US researchers. Dr. Davis will attend as a subject area expert in Ecology of Infectious Disease. CRDF Global is a nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources and training.

Dr. Jean Celli will present the keynote address at the Mexican Biochemical Society’s Bacterial Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting in Atlixco/Metepec, Puebla, Mexico, October 4-8, 2015. The title of his address is "Intracellular pathogenesis of Brucella abortus: it's all about secretion."

Dr. Celli is also an invited speaker at the upcoming 2015 Northwest ASM meeting at the University of Washington, November 20-21, 2015, presenting "Modulation of host secretory trafficking by the Brucella effector BspB," and will give a talk titled "Mode of action of the Brucella VirB effector BspB," at the 2015 Annual Research Conference on Brucellosis, in Chicago, December 5-6, 2015.

Dr. Wael Hassan, a food-safety microbiologist from the Egyptian army, recently completed a 5-month research training in the lab of Dr. Devendra Shah. Now back in Egypt, he plans to initiate collaborative projects on food-safety, antimicrobial resistance and molecular epidemiology of Salmonella in Egyptian poultry.



The College of Veterinary Medicine’s first annual Rabies Run 5K fundraiser will be held this Saturday, October 3. Come to run or come to cheer on your friends and colleagues as part of World Rabies Day events! Sign-in starts at 9:15am in front of Bustad Hall; run begins at 10:00. All proceeds and donations go to support the WSU Rabies Vaccination Program providing rabies vaccinations in Tanzania and other countries in east Africa.

The fall 2015 Global Animal Health Seminar series has kicked off. Next up:

Dr. Jeremy Koster, Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati, will present “The Conservation Ecology of Hunting with Dogs in Tropical Forests.”  Thursday, October 22 at 12:10 pm. Location: TBD. The use of dogs for subsistence hunting has dramatic implications for wildlife populations around the globe, particularly in tropical rain forests. Hunting dogs adversely impact wildlife as predatory agents, as prey for wild carnivores, and as vectors of diseases. Co-sponsored by the Allen School and the WSU Department of Anthropology.

Previous seminars in the series included:

Dr. Wesley Van Voorhis, University of Washington, School of Medicine, Head, Department of Allergy and Infectious Disease and Director, Center for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease: “CDPK Inhibitors for Cryptosporidiosis: From X-ray Structure to Cattle Therapy,” presented September 11, 2015.

Dr. Louise Matthews, University of Glasgow, School of Veterinary Medicine, Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health and Co-director, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health, and Comparative Medicine: “Approaches to Understanding the Ecology of Antimicrobial Resistance,” presented September 17, 2015.


Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

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