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January 2018

The Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc. (CHF) awarded a grant to us for our proposal: “Evaluation of a new vaccine for canine brucellosis.” This is amazing news. This grant will support us in continuing our work on this valuable process!

Thanks to all who participated in getting this done, especially Sankar and Daniel!

December 2017

Participation in the Brucellosis Society Meeting

Our students did a great job sharing their projects and experiences at the International Brucellosis Society Meeting in Chicago, IL, USA (Dec 1-3, 2017), which is a satellite of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases – CRWAD. The research shared by our students is listed below:

1)    Intratracheal inoculation of the guinea pig as an improved aerosol model for Brucella melitensis infection (Martha Hensel, oral presentation)

2)    Towards the development of a live attenuated vaccine for canine brucellosis (Lauren Stranahan, poster)

3)    NOD-scid IL2rγnull mouse as a model to study Brucella-induced osteoarticular disease (Omar Khalaf, poster)

Manuscript published (feral swine brucellosis)

An important research article was published this month in the Zooneses Public Health Journal based on our work in the detection of Brucella spp in feral swine, in partnership with USDA and APHIS. In this study, Brucella spp were cultured from 13% of the feral swine samples taken at two federally inspected abattoirs. These results demonstrate the potential risk of these animals spreading the disease, which was underestimated by the conventional serology tests. The manuscript, titled “Identification of Brucella spp. in feral swine (Sus scrofa) at abattoirs in Texas, USA,” can be seen here

November 2017

Congratulations to our student, Lauren Stranahan, for winning first place in the “Young Investigator Award in Diagnostic Pathology” category for her poster, “Rhodococcus equi Infection in Goats: Characterization of Virulence Plasmids,” which was presented at the American College of Veterinary Pathologists Annual Meeting held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on November 4-8, 2017

October 2017

Reciprocal Visit Uganda

We spent more than one week in Uganda, East Africa to complete the reciprocal visit under the Fellowship Program: Brucellosis Strategies and Coping Methods with our fellow, Dr. Peter Oba (from Uganda). During the visit, we helped Dr. Oba improve his skills and make adjustments based on the local settings and identified key gaps in the area of research, veterinary diagnostics, and vaccine production that could be strengthened through mutual collaborations.

In regards to building collaboration, we met with representatives of National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), the Commissioner of Veterinary Regulation and Enforcement Department of Animal Health, National Animal Diseases Diagnostics & Epidemiology Centre (NADDEC), Makerere University- College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources & Biosecurity (COVAB), and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kampala, among others.

Additionally, we joined the fellow in attending the 4th Global Health Security Agenda High Level Ministerial Meeting in Kampala, Uganda where he: gained a better understanding of global health issues (specifically in Uganda), enrolled as a member of the Next Generation Global Health Security Network (NGGHN), and established important networking connections for potential future collaborations in his career.

American Society for Microbiology Seminar

Congrats to our students for their participation in the American Society for Microbiology Texas Branch Seminar held October 19-21, 2017 at Texas A&M University. Here are the fantastic and interesting research topics shared by our students:

1)    Regulatory T cells and Brucella colonization at the feto-maternal interface of allogeneic pregnant mice (Adetunji Shakirat, poster presentation)

2)    OD-scid IL2rγnull mouse as a model to study Brucella-induced osteoarticular disease (Omar Khalaf, poster presentation)

3)    Kinetics of intratracheal aerosol inoculation in a guinea pig model for Brucella melitensis infection (Martha Hensel, oral presentation)

We are also excited to announce Martha Hensel won Best Oral Presentation by a Graduate Student!! Congratulations Martha and to all the students for their great presentations!

August 2017

A warm congratulations to our PI, Dr. Arenas, along with her partners, Dr. Carlos Rossetti and Estefania Maurizio from the Pathobiology Institute in Argentina, for the publication (PLoS Negl Trop Dis) of their article, “Caprine brucellosis: A historically neglected disease with significant impact on public health,” this month. You can access it by clicking here

April 2017

Our student, Shakirat Adetunji, received the “John Paul Delaplane Award” by the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University in recognition for her “outstanding interest and aptitude towards research in infectious diseases of poultry or livestock.”

Great job Shakirat!

February 2017

Great news! Two of our students were awarded $5,000 to support their research projects under a call for proposals, “College of Veterinary Medicine Graduate Student Research Trainee Grant,” by Texas A&M University. Here are the proposals that were awarded:

1)    The Role of Regulatory T Cells in Brucella-induced Abortion in the Goat (Capra hircus) Model (Shakirat Adetunji)

2)    NOD-scid IL2rγnull mouse as a model to study Brucella-induced osteoarticular disease (Omar Khalaf)

Fantastic job everyone! Congratulations!

January 2017

Peter Oba, coming from the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), Uganda, started to build capacities in our lab under the Borlaug Fellowship Program: "Brucellosis Strategies and Coping Methods in Uganda”. Welcome Peter to our lab!

November 2016

The review article:"Human brucellosis and adverse pregnancy outcomes" was approved for publication and its "Hot Topic" with 161 downloads in one month! Congratulations Dr. Arenas on leading this process, definitely an important contribution in this area! Click here to access this publication.

October 2016

Was a pleasure having Juana Liz Vidal, MSc student from Universidad de Antioquia, in our lab. It was a very short visit but very intense and productive. Juana got trained in cell culture and other techniques and performed in-vitro killing assays to investigate host-pathogen interaction.  This activity enhanced the research collaboration between Universidad de Antioquia and our research group. Thank you Juana for your visit and good luck with your thesis!!

September 2016

The manuscript: "Reticulo-ruminal milk accumulation (ruminal drinking) in five pre-ruminant white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus) in Texas", was approved for publication. Our PhD student Shakirat Adetunji is the first author on this article! Cheers!

July 2016

Welcome to our summer internships coming from University of Georgia (Katherine Anne Franc) and University of Lincoln (Dr. Tumen Wuliji and Mikel Thompson)! They are supported by the IAAD Veterinary Student Internship Program and the Summer Research Team Program for Minority Serving Institutions, respectively.  We are very glad to have you here and we will enjoy exchanging experiences with you!!

From the bench to the shop!

An exciting, interdisciplinary and unique training program entitled : "From the bench to the shop: Transitioning High Consequence Livestock Disease Research and Development Technologies for Commercialization", has been recently approved and sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate. This important educational program offers the opportunity to earn a training certificate in Scientific Business Development and Management with emphasis in transboundary animal diseases (TADs).  For more information please visit our specific website or flyer

February 2016

Great news! our Formula Animal Health research proposal: "Efficacy studies of a brucellosis vaccine for domestic and feral swine" was selected for funding. Now we can continue toward the development of a vaccine brucellosis in pigs! Thanks to our partners in Colorado State University (Dr. Bowen and team) to be part of this important proposal!

The manuscript: "The case for live attenuated vaccines against neglected zoonotic bacterial diseases". in which Dr. Angela Arenas is Co-author, has been accepted for publication in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. Congratulations to Dr. Aseem Pandey for his publication.

November 2015

Dr. Isaac Mengele received his certificate of completion after a great presentation of his work! Congratulations to him! We will keep working together developing collaborative research efforts focused on the control and prevention of brucellosis and other infectious diseases.

We have officially began our project to test the safety and efficacy of a vaccine candidate in goats. Work will be conducted at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria - INTA in Argentina. Dr. Carlos Rossetti, a brucellosis expert, and his team members, will be key players in this success. We look forward for a productive and long-lasting collaboration. In the photo: Dr. Winston Morris, Bioq. Mariana Dunleavy, Lic. Flavia Hasenauer, Dr. Estefania Maurizio, Dr. Carlos Rossetti, Dr. Angela Arenas and Dr. Lucas Vagnoni

October 2015

Its our pleasure to have Dr. Isaac Mengele coming from Tanzania in our lab as part of the professional exchange training program, Borlaug Fellowship. Welcome Dr. Mengele! it will be great sharing knowledge and experiences with you!

September 2015

We just submitted a manuscript entitled: "Brucellosis seroprevalence and risk factors for abortion in dromedary camels in a pastoral area of Borana, Ethiopia" to the Journal of Infection in Developing Countries - JIDC. Great inter-institutional effort with our partners in Ethiopia to get this done!

Our student worker, Lance Wheeler has officially started Vet school, congratulations to him and we wish him the very best!

August 2015

On August 2015  the Canine Health Foundation awarded us the grant: "Development of a brucellosis vaccine for dogs" an important project that will help us to step forward in the development of this vaccine and contribute to companion animal health, part of our mission!

April 2015

This year our PI received the "Outstanding Young Faculty Award" in recognition of her outstanding record of extramural funding and high-impact research publications. Congratulations to her and all the team! Click here to see picture