Texas A&M University Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Foot and Mouth Disease International Field Trials workshop

Subject matter experts from around the world gathered in Washington, DC June 10-12 to attend a workshop to discuss field trials for FMD vaccines.

Subject matter experts from around the world gathered in Washington, DC June 10-12 to attend a workshop to discuss field trials for FMD vaccines.

The National Center of Excellence for Zoonotic and Animal Disease Defense (ZADD), a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence co-led by Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD) and the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD), hosted a workshop titled “Defining Requirements for International Field Trials for Conventional and Next-Generation Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMD) Vaccines and Diagnostics” June 10-12 in Washington, DC.

The internationally attended workshop was part of a series organized by ZADD and supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to bring together national and international subject matter experts (SMEs) from federal agencies, industry, state partners and academia. These SMEs worked together to evaluate and discuss study designs for evaluating new vaccine and diagnostic technologies in FMD endemic countries.

“This type of clinical field trial is critical to establishing performance characteristics of new vaccine and diagnostic technologies in a field use setting; however, designing this type of study can be challenging due to the many regulatory, logistical and experimental aspects involved,” said IIAD director Tammy Beckham, DVM, Ph.D.

This initial meeting sought input and recommendations on the study design. Participants worked to address critical components for experimental design, partnerships and logistical challenges and opportunities that can arise with this type of study.

“We are aiming to provide veterinarians, our animal health first-responders, with cutting-edge science,” said Dr. Beckham. “The technologies that are currently being discovered can provide assistance to food security in developing nations. FMD is endemic in many parts of the world and, in addition to being a threat to FMD-free countries, it is also is a major impediment to effective production, intra-regional and international trade of livestock and livestock products. Next generation vaccine and diagnostic technologies can help control spread and open new economic avenues to countries moving through the FMD progressive control pathway.”

The workshop included representatives from: 10 countries (Australia, Brazil, Belgium, Egypt, Israel, Kenya, Libya, Vietnam, Turkey, United Kingdom); four international organizations (Pan American Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, Pan-African Veterinary Vaccine Center, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation); United States Department of Agriculture; DHS; along with representatives from the agriculture industry, biopharma and academia. Relationships formed with international partners through efforts such as these will be long lasting and allow for products developed in the US for protection of domestic livestock to have benefits abroad.