Alliance for Iowa State
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Animal disease emergencies significantly impact the affected industry, its markets, and its consumers. Last spring's outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was no exception with nearly 32 million birds affected and a $1.2 billion economic hit to Iowa.

During that outbreak, Iowa State University played a significant role in helping the poultry industry respond. Now it plays a pivotal role in helping the industry rebuild and prepare for any future animal disease threats using lessons learned from the outbreak.

Early detection and prevention are components of successful animal disease management programs. Dr. Yuko Sato, ISU poultry extension veterinarian, says greater focus on biosecurity at the farm level is key. "The goal is to make it inconvenient for the disease pathogens to get on to the farm, not make biosecurity inconvenient to implement. We are advising producers to tailor guidelines to fit their farms." Iowa State's Center for Food Security and Public Health has developed biosecurity training materials that can be modified to meet the needs of the individual farm.

Additionally, should an infectious disease pathogen outbreak occur, early detection can mitigate spread of the disease and its economic impact. Iowa State's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ISU VDL) plays a critical role in supporting the health and well-being of Iowa's poultry flocks. Poultry producers utilize ISU VDL's state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies and world-class service model to prevent, quickly identify, control, and recover from diseases of high consequence.

To help answer questions about HPAI transmission, the Egg Industry Center at Iowa State has funded six research projects, including studies by College of Veterinary Medicine scientists on the role that wild birds, rodents, and insects play in the spread of the disease; whether feed is a potential carrier of HPAI virus; and evaluation of different environmental monitoring and surveillance methods. Other Iowa State scientists are examining genetic avenues for HPAI resistance in chickens; airborne transmission of the disease and the role of dust as a carrier; and other practices to help ensure tighter biosecurity at egg farms.

Next month, the Egg Industry Center's annual national egg issues forum will focus in part on HPAI, including a nationwide state of the research delivered by center director Hongwei Xin. The center has partnered with the American Egg Board and United Egg Producers to launch a website for stakeholders should another outbreak occur.
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The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.
The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa
while focusing its advocacy on state legislators and public policy makers.

The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association.