TVMDL recently provided advanced training in diagnostics for brucellosis to six veterinary professionals from three East African nations.
The training was part of a 12-week visit to the United States from March to May coordinated by the FAZD Center and the University of Wyoming.
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Service’s Scientific Exchanges Program, the six program Fellows from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania received technical training in brucellosis research, surveillance, epidemiology and diagnostics.
At TVMDL’s College Station laboratory, the Fellows received hands-on training in using diagnostic tests to detect the bacteria that cause brucellosis.
The diagnostic training was led by Dr. Amy Swinford, branch chief for microbiology; Dr. Mangkey Bounpheng, section head for diagnostic development; and Sandy Rodgers, assistant section head for serology.
Dr. Tammy Beckham directs both TVMDL and the FAZD Center.
The group traveled to Cameron, Texas, to tour a cattle ranch and a cattle auction barn. They also visited facilities related to cattle production and veterinary practices in Austin and Eagle Pass, Texas, and in Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Idaho and Iowa.
The exchange program is designed to allow the participants to:
- Gain experience in designing epidemiological studies as well as in collecting and analyzing data.
- Learn updated methods for controlling, testing and tracing diseases, with an emphasis on brucellosis.
- Received hands-on training in diagnostic methods for brucellosis.
The program’s goal is to improve the capacity of each fellow’s home nation to comply with World Organization for Animal Health guidelines for surveillance, detection, diagnosis and reporting of notifiable zoonotic diseases.
The training was in partnership with the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Funding for the exchanges was supported by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Threat and Reduction Agency.
Brucellosis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that affects livestock and humans. While considered rare in the United States, brucellosis is commonly detected in East Africa.
The program Fellows are:
- Dr. Portas Olwande, chief veterinary officer, Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Livestock Development, Kenya.
- Dr. Evalyn Mwihia, senior veterinary officer at the Central Veterinary Laboratories, Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Livestock Development, Kenya.
- Dr. Paul Boma, research assistant and animal health scientist, Nabun Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute, National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda.
- Dr. Bosco Kalule, assistant lecturer and microbiologist, Makerere University, College of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity, Uganda.
- Dr. George Makingi, research scientist, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.
- Dr. Gabriel Shirima, manager, Tanzania Vaccine Institute, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Tanaznia.