US Pledge Another $5 Million to Fight Bird Flu

US - The United States Department of Agriculture yesterday pledged a further $5 million in the continuing battle against the global spread of bird flu. The Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project (AICAP) will now be run for another three years.
calendar icon 3 June 2008
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The USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) originally awarded the AICAP in 2005 to the University of Maryland (UMD) to establish a research and education project to help prevent and control avian influenza. The project was composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and extension specialists representing 17 states.

AICAP goals include epidemiology, basic research, diagnostics, vaccines and education. Since 2005, AICAP researchers and educators have:

  • assembled the first continent-wide network to study the ecological and biological characteristics of avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds;
  • integrated research and education into a unique program available to a range of poultry producers;
  • shown that quail can change and expand the host range of avian influenza viruses, and found that quail respiratory and intestinal tracts have human-like sialic acid receptors that could partially explain the emergence of avian influenza strains with the capacity to infect humans;
  • developed a comprehensive program that has been delivered in 33 states and in Canada and Brazil to train producers and veterinarians on the depopulation and composting of flocks with avian influenza;
  • developed a testing component for rapid diagnosis of avian influenza in birds; and
  • developed promising vaccines for mass immunization of birds.

The institutions and researchers participating in AICAP are Virginia Tech, Auburn University, University of California-Davis, University of Delaware, University of Georgia, USDA-Agricultural Research Service-Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, Ohio State University, Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, Western University Health Sciences and University of Maryland-College Park.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.
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