Sub-project 1 – July 2019

July 22nd, 2019

FMD Ready researchers engage regularly with veterinary diagnostic laboratories of neighbouring countries in SE Asia and with the Regional Reference Laboratory for FMD in South East Asia. This collaboration helps Australia and the SE Asian laboratories to better understand the FMD situation in SE Asia, and contributes to Australia’s preparedness for emergency animal diseases. To this end, members of the sub-project 1 team participated in the FMD Regional Expert Group (REG) meeting in Bangkok in May 2019.

This meeting was jointly organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Sub-Regional Representation for South East Asia (SRR).

The objectives of the meeting were to:

  1. Discuss and identify ways to improve the current situation on FMD molecular diagnosis
  2. Draft a sub-regional FMD molecular diagnostic protocol
  3. Propose approaches to improve virus isolation, including improvement of sampling protocol and identification/clarification of sample quality and quantity requirements
  4. Discuss scenarios under which swab and probang sampling could be applied to support FMD virus molecular epidemiological investigations
  5. Discuss the value of alternative sampling approaches to improve outbreak samples collection and submission and explore the feasibility of their wide application in the sub-region.

After much discussion the REG drafted a protocol for molecular diagnostic testing for FMD in the region and decided how best to collect samples and ensure they reach the laboratories in good condition. More work is needed to validate some of the suggestions, but it was an excellent opportunity for technical experts to interact, with 350 years’ of FMD experience in the room.

Wilna Vosloo, from the SP1 team was also invited by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to participate as a trainer in a regional training workshop in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The workshop covered the OIE procedures for the official status recognition and endorsement of national official control programmes regarding FMD and PPR (peste des petits ruminants) and maintenance of FMD-free status.