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Surveillance and Early Detection Critical to Controlling Infectious Disease


As the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa makes clear, early and coordinated responses to cases of infectious disease are crucial to minimizing their spread and overall impact. The World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, 2005, adopted “to prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the international spread of disease in ways that are commensurate with and restricted to public health risks . . . ,” provides the basis for this response. Under IHR 2005, the 194 WHO member states are obligated to develop and maintain the capacity to detect and report events with serious public health risk and/or of an unusual nature with high potential for spread. 

Substantial challenges to full implementation of IHR 2005 still exist in many countries, however, including the countries of West Africa most affected by the Ebola outbreak. Through the work of Dr. Terry McElwain and others, the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health is actively engaged in worldwide efforts to improve capacities for disease surveillance and early detection. As most emergent pathogens, including the Ebola virus, are initially transmitted to people from animal hosts or reservoirs, the zoonotic disease expertise of Allen School researchers is critical to development of appropriate strategies and resources to reduce potential for spillover events, outbreaks and epidemics. Utilizing a One Health approach, Dr. McElwain and colleagues are assessing current facilities, capacities and practices in countries of Africa and Asia and developing recommendations for strengthening and integrating human and animal disease surveillance and reporting systems. Such efforts are central to the Allen School mission and to the safeguarding of public health.

viveka vadyvaloo

Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo investigates transmission of Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that causes plague. Thousands of cases of plague are reported to WHO each year. 



One Health Partnership Update


From left: WSU Graduate School Dean Dr. Bill Andrefsky, Dr. Sirinand Sreevatsan (UMinn), Dr. Luis Nero (UFV), and Drs. Peter Rabinowitz and Christina Pettan-Brewer (UW) at the One Health Workshop, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil.

The growing international recognition of the links between human health, animal health and the environment calls for increasing cooperation and collaboration between professionals working in these sectors. Such transdisciplinary One Health approaches to understanding and controlling infectious diseases that affect both humans and animals, often associated with interrelated environmental factors and exposures, was the topic of the One Health Workshop, October 1-3, 2014 at Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV), Brazil. The Workshop was organized to discuss continued development of collaborative education and research programs begun in December 2012 at UFV, followed in 2013 by the One Health Workshop at UW/WSU (see Allen School Update, Jan/Feb 2014).

WSU Dean of Graduate Education Dr. William Andrefsky and Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health faculty members Drs. Douglas Call and Jennifer Zambriski, joined by Dr. Guiliana Noratto of the WSU/Univ. of Idaho School of Food Science and WSU-based USDA-ARS scientist Dr. Massaro Ueti, attended the workshop with administrators and faculty members of UFV, University of Washington, University of Minnesota, University of Monash, Australia and the University of Mozambique, Africa.
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Research News


New Research and Training Grants:


Dr. James Futse, with co-investigators Drs. Guy Palmer and Susan Noh, has received a 3-year Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award for his project “Broad-spectrum enhancement of immunity as strategy to prevent morbidity and mortality due to hemoparasite infection in highly endemic regions.“ The award was made through the Foundation’s Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders (PEARL).

Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño has been awarded a subcontract on a Department of Homeland Security grant to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, leading a project titled “Generation of Predictive Models for Viral Pathogenesis” The project uses transcriptomics, proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics to generate predictive models of Nipah and Hendra virus pathogenesis.

Dr. Anders Omsland is co-investigator on a new NIH R21 award titled "Nucleoid structure and energy metabolism in chlamydial gene expression." Dr. Scott Grieshaber at the University of Idaho is the PI.

Dr. Kelly Brayton is co-investigator on a new award from the National Research Foundation of South Africa: Competitive Programme for Rated Researchers, entitled “Metagenomic survey of pathogens in Mnisi.” The PI is Dr. Marinda Oosthuizen, University of Pretoria.

Dr. Guy Palmer is the Washington State University lead on a new interdisciplinary, cross-institutional training grant awarded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The training grant, entitled “Program for Enhancing the Health and Productivity of Livestock,” funds a collaboration between the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Arusha, Tanzania, and WSU, Penn State University, the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Rural College to train PhD students on means for enhancing the health and productivity of smallholder farmers’ livestock while safeguarding public health and the environment.



Congratulations to faculty, staff and students on recent publications:


Cleaveland S, Hampson K, Lembo T, Townsend S, and Lankester F. (2014). Role of dog sterilisation and vaccination in rabies control programmes. Vet. Rec. 175: 409–10.

Cunha CW, Taus NS, O’Toole D, Nicola AV, Aguilar HC, Knowles DP, Li H. Antibodies to ovine Herpesvirus 2 glycoproteins decrease virus infectivity and prevent malignant catarrhal fever in rabbits. Vet. MicrobIn Press.

Kugadas A, Poindexter J, Lee ML, Bavananthasivam J, Call DR, Brayton KA, and Srikumaran S. (2014). Growth of Mannheimia haemolytica: inhibitory agents and mechanism of inhibition. Veterinary Microbiology. 174:155-162.

LaFrentz BR, LaPatra SE, Call DR and Cain KD. (2014). Immunization of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum) with a crude lipopolysaccharide extract of Flavobacterium psychrophilum. Aquaculture Research. 45:476-483.

Landowski M, Dabundo J, Liu Q, Nicola AV, and Aguilar HC. Nipah virion entry kinetics, composition, and conformational changes determined by enzymatic VLPs and new flow virometry tools. Journal of Virology. In Press.

Liu Q, Bradel-Tretheway B, Monreal AI, Saludes JP, Lu X, and Aguilar HC.  Nipah virus attachment glycoprotein stalk C-terminal region links receptor binding to fusion triggering. Journal of Virology. In Press.

Mitchell SM, Subbiah M, Ullman JL, Frear C, and Call DR. Evaluation of 27 different biochars for potential sequestration of antibiotic residues in food animal production environments. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering. In Press.

Mudenda L, Aguilar Pierlé S,  Turse JE, Scoles GA, Purvine SO, Nicora CD, Clauss TRW, Ueti MW, Brown WC, and Brayton KA. (2014).  Proteomics informed by transcriptomics identifies novel secreted proteins in Dermacentor andersoni saliva.  International Journal for Parasitology.  44: 1029-1037. 2014.

Mwalongo O, Shahada F, Bigambo M, Gwakisa P,  and Lankester F. (2014). Prevalence of Canine Parvovirus in Domestic Dogs around Serengeti National Park ( Tanzania ). Int. J. Sci. Res. 3:1864–1868.

Price-Youngquist C, Liu J, Orfe L, Jones SS, and Call DR. Ciprofloxacin residues in municipal biosolids compost do not selectively enrich populations of resistant bacteria. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. In Press.

Reif KE, Palmer GH, Crowder DW, Ueti MW, Noh SM. (2014). Restriction of Francisella novicida Genetic Diversity during Infection of the Vector Midgut. PloS Pathog 10(11):e1004499. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1004499

Schubiger CB, Orfe LH, Ponnerassery SS, Cain KD, Shah DH, and Call DR. Entericidin is requisite for a probiotic treatment (Enterobacter C6-6) to protect trout from coldwater disease challenge. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. In Press.

Vallejo E, Herndon DR, Alpirez Mendoza F, Mosqueda J, and Palmer GH (2014). Anaplasma marginale superinfection attributable to pathogen strains with distinct genomic backgrounds. Infection and Immunity, 82:5286-5292. This article was selected as a Spotlight article for the December issue entitled: "Emergence of Superinfecting Pathogen Strains with Distinct Genomic Backgrounds."

Wiens GD, LaPatra SL, Welch TJ, Rexroad CE, Call DR, Cain K, LaFrentz B, Vaisvil B, Schmitt DP and Kapatral V. (2014). Complete genome sequence of Flavobacterium psychrophilum strain CSF259-93 used to select rainbow trout for increased genetic resistance against bacterial coldwater disease. Genome Announcements—Prokaryotes. 2(5):e00889-14.


Student and Fellow News

Global Animal Health Case Competition

Participants in the first annual Global Animal Health Case Competition, the centerpiece of the new Multidisciplinary Approaches to Global Health Challenges course. 

This past October the Allen School introduced “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Global Health Challenges,” a new graduate-level course directed by Gretchen Kaufman, Terry McElwain and George A. Wudiri.  The course attracted 23 students from across the University including the Immunology and Infectious Disease program, Zoology, Anthropology, Economics and Communications, and included two third year DVM Global Animal Health Certificate students. Modeled on the Emory University Global Health Case Competition, the course was designed as a team-based case challenge and conducted over a very intense weekend. Multidisciplinary student teams were tasked with developing sustainable solutions to address a real-life scenario set in Tanzania.  The case challenge, titled “Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance to Non-typhoidal Salmonella in Mto wa Mbo, Tanzania,” was developed over the summer by a team of faculty, staff and graduate students led by George A. Wudiri, and including Felix Lankester, Murugan Subbiah, John K. Osiri, Jonathan Yoder, Sara Pepper and Terry McElwain. The course was a great success and will be offered every fall semester.

Beatus Lyimo, PhD student from the Nelson Mandela African Institution for Science and Technology, is visiting for three months of training in the lab of Dr. Doug Call

Qian Liu, student of Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño, successfully defended her PhD dissertation entitled "Uncovering a Region in the Nipah Virus Attachment Protein Important for Triggering Membrane Fusion."

Jinxin Liu, student in the lab of Dr. Doug Call, advanced to PhD candidacy, presenting his project “The role of excreted antibiotics in the establishment of persistent on-farm reservoirs of antibiotic resistant bacteria.”

Darin Weed, a student of Dr. Anthony Nicola, advanced to PhD candidacy for his project “Reversibility of conformational changes in glycoprotein B during herpes simplex virus entry.”

Carolynn Fitterer, a 3rd year veterinary student in the Global Animal Health Professional Certificate Program, won 1st place for her presentation at the annual College of Veterinary Medicine student research symposium. Her project, based in Borneo, was titled “Evaluation of goat health management as a component of a community health program in Indonesia.” Carolynn’s mentors are Dr. Gretchen Kaufman in the Allen School and Dr. Darin Collins at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Tri Komala Sari, student of Dr. Anthony Nicola, received 1st place in the poster awards at the 2014 CVM symposium for the poster “Herpes simplex virus glycoprotein determinants of low pH-triggered fusion and entry.”  

Jacquelyn A. Stone, PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Hector Aguilar-Carreño, was awarded 2nd Place in the CVM annual poster competition.  Her poster was entitled "O-glycans in the Nipah virus attachment glycoprotein modulate fusion."

Zoobiquity Conference Poster Matt Sammons

Matt Sammons (on far right), discusses his winning poster at the 2014 Zoobiquity Conference. 

Matt Sammons, a DVM student in the Global Animal Health Professional Certificate Program mentored by Dr. Doug Call, won 1st place in the student poster competition at the 2014 Zoobiquity Conference, held November 1 in Seattle.  The title of his poster was “One-House-One Health approach to childhood growth and development: Identifying and resetting high-risk household gut microbiomes.”

Students and postdocs in the lab of Dr. Doug Call presented posters at the 15th Annual College of Veterinary Medicine Research Symposium, October 29th, 2013, including:

   Falghoush, Lone, Atci, Beyenal, and Call. “Acinetobacter baumannii biofilms are vulnerable to treatment by a combination of an antibiotic and hyperosmotic agent.”
   Liu, Lu, Zhao, Subbiah, Mobley, Orfe, Nydam, Ullman, Matthews, and Call. “Excreted ceftiofur and florfenicol from cattle amplify resistant E. coli populations in soils.”
   Lu, Zhao, Liu, Besser and Call. “Effect of osmoregulation and iron on production of microcin MccPDI.”
   Mobley, Orfe, Strom, Omulo, Radicone, and Call. “A novel technology revitalizes old-fashioned chemical sanitation.”
   Mshanga, Call, Subbiah, and Orfe. “Identifying best veterinary practices to minimize selection for antibiotic resistant E. coli in Tanzania.”
   Omulo, Zambriski, Davis, and Call. “Food as a possible fomite for transmission of antibiotic resistant bacteria in an urban environment.”
   Sammons, Mosites, Rabinowitz, Omore, Walson, Zambriski, and Call. “One house – one health approach to childhood growth and development: Identifying and resetting high-risk household gut microbiomes.”





Faculty and Staff News

Dr. Doug Call has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his research on molecular epidemiology of food and water-borne pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. This prestigious national award reflects Dr. Call’s academic achievements and leadership at WSU.

Dr. Call was an invited speaker at three events taking place at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Brazil, this past fall. Talks included “Impacts of animal food chain in human health” and “Contribution of socio-economic and ecological factors to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in Tanzanian communities” at the One Health Workshop, October 1-3; “Novel technologies revitalize old-fashioned chemical treatments” at the Innovet 2014 conference, November 9-11; and “The role of excreted antibiotics in the establishment of antibiotic resistance reservoirs” at the Symposium on Research in Veterinary Medicine, November 12-15.

Dr. Call also presented two invited lectures closer to home this fall:  “Why does antimicrobial resistance persist?” presented to the University of Washington Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences, October 23, 2014, and “Socio-economic and ecological contributors to the antimicrobial resistance challenge,” delivered as part of the Biosecurity COIN series at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, September 22 2014.

Dr. Terry McElwain gave two invited lectures this fall. The first, entitled “One World, One Health: The Role of Veterinary Medicine in Global Health”, was delivered October 8 for the DVM Research Careers lecture series to veterinary students at Texas A&M University. The second, entitled “One World, One Health: The role of Animal Health in Global Health Security,” was presented November 7 as the Keynote Address for the Institute of Infectious Animal Diseases 10th Anniversary Celebration, College Station, TX.

Dr. Viveka Vadyvaloo gave a talk at the Past Plague Pandemics in Light of Modern Molecular Life Science Insights meeting, held at the Norwegian Academy of Sciences in Oslo, Norway. Her talk, presented November 18, was titled “Hosts for the 'persistent' plague.”

Dr. Felix Lankester presented to masters students in Wild Animal Health at the Royal Veterinary College (London), Nov 13 and 14. The title of his talk was “Wildlife disease: epidemiology, impacts, investigation and control.”  Dr. Lankester also shares that the Allen School’s Serengeti Health Initiative rabies program completes its annual vaccination campaign in December 2014, having vaccinated approximately 100,000 dogs in seven districts in northern Tanzania.  

Dr. Kelly Brayton presented a talk entitled “The Dermacentor andersoni bacterial microbiome and pathogen acquisition” at the Metegenomics workshop, University of Pretoria, South Africa, September 9-11, 2014.  Dr. Brayton also presented an invited seminar at Kansas State University entitled “Illumina-ting Anaplasma marginale: shedding light on genome biology through deep sequencing,” Nov 6, 2014.

Dr. Shelley McGuire delivered 3 invited talks this fall, all related to her research group's work on the human milk microbiome. These presentations were given at the International Milk Genomics Conference in Aarhus, Denmark; the meeting of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation in Kiawah, South Carolina; and the Glycobiology Society meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was also coauthor on a review entitled "It’s alive: Microbes and cells in human milk and their potential benefits to mother and infant" published in Advances in Nutrition.

Dr. Anthony Nicola served as a grant reviewer for the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom) in October 2014, and gave an invited seminar entitled: "Herpesvirus entry into host cells triggered by endosomal low pH" at the University of Montana on October 20.

Dr. Devendra Shah gave an invited talk titled “Controlling Salmonella in poultry and poultry products” at the 2014 Poultry Institute, organized by Washington Animal Disease Laboratory (WADDL) and the Avian Health and Food Safety Laboratory, held on November 4 in Puyallup, WA. The event drew 60 participants from poultry industry in Washington and other states, plus the state veterinarian for Washington State and both DVM and graduate students from WSU and UW.

Austin Peasley has been hired as a Scientific Assistant in the lab of Dr. Kelly Brayton.

The Allen School is currently advertising for two new faculty positions in antibiotic resistance.



Allen School in the News

WSU Today recently reported on Allen School efforts to eliminate the threat of rabies infection in Tanzania. On September 28, events took place around the world to mark World Rabies Day, spearheaded by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Also see the Perspectives article published by Drs. Felix Lankester, Guy Palmer and colleagues in the Sept. 26 issue of Science, listed above.

Rabies Team
Annual dog vaccination clinics in Tanzania have reduced the number of human rabies cases to zero. Left to right: Machunde Bigambo, assistant project manager; Guy Palmer, Allen School director; Imam Mzimbiri, project manager and veterinarian; Paulo Tembo, field assistant and mechanic; Felix Lankester, Allen School East Africa-based researcher.
Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health

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