Veterinary Research News

From the AVMA

Deadline extended for council nominations; another position opens

With the approval in January of a new Manual of the House of Delegates at the HOD Special Session in Chicago, a new deadline will apply to nominate candidates for vacant council positions beginning this year.

The deadline has been rolled back from a Feb. 1 to an April 1 postmark for organizations represented in the AVMA HOD to nominate candidates for council vacancies. Nominations may also be made by petition of 10 AVMA voting members. For the positions to be filled this July at the HOD's annual session in Washington, D.C., nominations should be sent to Dr. Bruce W. Little, executive vice president.

The number of council vacancies rose to 16 with the resignation in January of Dr. David Dawson from the Council on Veterinary Service, representing recent graduates. Nominees in this category must have graduated from veterinary school or college no more than seven years prior to the effective date of their election. The new council member will complete the unexpired term ending in July 2010 and then be eligible for election to a full six-year term, provided that he or she still meets the definition of a recent graduate at the time of election to the full term.

The April 1 deadline also applies for HOD members to express their intent to be a candidate for one of the three vacancies occurring this year on the House Advisory Committee, and for receipt of the information needed for council and HAC candidates to appear in the 2007 Campaign Guide.

The postmark deadline remains March 9 for nominations to AVMA committee and trust vacancies. They may be made by local or state veterinary associations, allied groups represented in the HOD, or an AVMA member on that person's or another's behalf. The Executive Board will make those appointments at its April 12-14 meeting. Nominations to committees and trusts should be sent to J. Karl Wise, PhD, associate executive vice president.

Nominating materials for councils were sent this past August to AVMA delegates and chief staff officers of organizations represented in the HOD. Nomination forms for councils—as well as committees, trusts, and the HAC—are also available by logging on to, clicking on the Volunteer Leadership Area, and looking under Tools for Leaders. Forms are also available by calling AVMA headquarters at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6651 for councils, Ext. 6604 for HAC, and Ext. 6605 for committees and trusts.

Research Results

Study finds prion proteins in milk

A study has identified the presence of normal prion proteins in milk from humans, cows, sheep, and goats.

“Prion Protein in Milk” appeared in the December issue of PLoS One, an online journal from the Public Library of Science, available at

Infectious prion proteins cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in many species, including scrapie in sheep. In view of a recent study showing evidence of prion replication in the mammary gland of sheep with scrapie and mastitis, the authors of the new study conclude that the presence of normal prions in milk implies a possibility that milk from animals with TSEs serves as a source of infectious prions.

The study found that the absolute amount of normal prion proteins in milk differed among species, with sheep milk containing more than human milk. The study also identified prions in homogenized and pasteurized off-the-shelf milk. Even ultrahigh temperature treatment only partially diminished the concentration.

The authors note that scientific groups, risk assessment agencies, and public health organizations have debated the TSE risk for milk and milk products throughout the past decade. Epidemiologic and bioassay data have not provided evidence that milk harbors prion infectivity. Bioassays of the milk, colostrum, or udder of cows with BSE have not as yet detected infectious prions.

Informational Resources

Horse genome sequence available

The first draft of the horse genome sequence has been deposited in public databases and is freely available for use by biomedical and veterinary researchers around the globe, leaders of the international Horse Genome Sequencing Project recently announced.

The $15 million effort to sequence the approximately 2.7 billion DNA base pairs in the genome of the horse was funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Over the next several months, researchers plan to further improve the accuracy of the horse genome sequence and to deposit an even higher resolution assembly in public databases. A publication analyzing the horse genome sequence and its implications for horse population genetics is being planned for the future.

Researchers can access the horse genome sequence data through the following public databases: GenBank ( at NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information; NCBI's Map Viewer (; UCSC genome browser ( at the University of California at Santa Cruz; and the Ensembl genome browser ( at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England.

Upgraded OIE animal health database available

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has launched the World Animal Health Information Database, available at The database provides access to all data within the OIE's World Animal Health Information System. It replaces and substantially extends the former online interface named Handistatus II System, which compiled data from 1996–2004.

The database provides information from sources such as immediate notifications and follow-up reports submitted by OIE member countries in response to exceptional disease events, six-month reports describing the OIE-listed disease situations in each country, and annual reports providing further background information on animal health, and laboratory and vaccine production facilities.

Reports Released

AAVMC examines education of food systems veterinarians

“Veterinary Medical Education for Modern Food Systems” is appearing in the winter 2006 edition of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

The paper summarizes a recent workshop by the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. The full proceedings also appear in the journal.

The workshop focused on the changing nature of food production and the evolving role of veterinarians in modern food systems. Specific recommendations from the workshop include the following:

  • • Organized veterinary medicine must articulate a clear vision of the future role of veterinary medicine in all aspects of modern food systems.

  • • Veterinarians must become more actively engaged in ensuring the safety and security of food systems.

  • • Veterinary medical colleges must work with all elements of modern food systems to better anticipate the needs, roles, and skills of food systems veterinarians of the future.

  • • The education and preparation of food systems veterinarians must reflect their changing roles and must continue throughout their careers.

  • • Veterinary medical colleges must aggressively recruit students with a high probability of success in food systems and encourage them throughout their educational experience.

  • • Academic veterinary medicine must play a central role in providing the new knowledge our profession needs to serve our society.

The Veterinary Community

American College of Veterinary Pathology announces diplomates

The ACVP recognized 70 new diplomates upon successful completion of the certifying examination in Ames, Iowa, Sept. 20–21, 2006.

Certified as veterinary anatomic pathologists were Drs. Timothy W. Affolter, San Diego; Derron A. Alves, Greenbelt, Md.; Anibal G.A. Medianero, Roseville, Minn.; Shelley Beazley, Mattawan, Mich.; Marie-Odile Benoit-Biancamano, Quebec, Canada; Melanie A. Buote, Bryan, Texas; Jennifer A. Chilton, Madison, Wis.; Phaedra I. Cole, Bloomingdale, Mich.; Cheryl A. Cross, Knoxville, Tenn.; Joshua H. Decker, Peoria, Ill.; Taryn A. Donovan, San Diego; Julie B. Engiles, Unionville, Pa.; Mihai I. Gagea, Blacksburg, Va.; Michael Goedken, Mansfield Center, Conn.; Branka Grubor, Manilus, N.Y.; Julius A. Haruna, Pullman, Wash.; Guenther Hoffmann, Madison, Wis.; Shelley P. Honnold, Laurel, Md.; Stuart A. Hunter, Raleigh, N.C.; Binod Jacob, Southborough, Mass.; Anoop M. Kavirayani, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; Laura A. Kennedy, Amarillo, Texas; Robert Klopfleisch, Griefswald, Germany; Jennifer A. Landolfi, Oak Park, Ill.; Karin Y. Lemberger, Country Club Hills, Ill.; Tanya LeRoith, Blacksburg, Va.; Kimberly A. Maratea, West Lafayette, Ind.; Philip L. Martin, Potomac, Md.; Emily K. Meseck, Mooers, N.Y.; Venee I. Morthole, Silver Spring, Md.; Aleksija Neimanis, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Kimberly Newkirk, Columbus, Ohio; Susan M. Noh, Pullman, Wash.; Jairo E.D.S. Nunes, Bryan, Texas; Jenee S. Odani, Highland, Calif.; Jon T. Painter, Wake Forest, N.C.; Tracey L. Papenfuss, Columbus, Ohio; Marilene Paquet, St-Paul d’ Abbotsford, Quebec, Canada; Ingrid D.R. Pardo, West Lafayette, Ind.; Lucy Phillips, Wilmington, Del.; Joshua Powe, Gainesville, Fla.; Srinivas S. Rao, Bethesda, Md.; David A. Rehagen, Portage, Mich.; Amera K. Remick, Raleigh, N.C.; Barry H. Rickman, East Cambridge, Mass.; Michael Rozmanec, Mona Vale, New South Wales, Australia; Steven D. Rushton, Raleigh, N.C.; Melissa M. Schutten, Madison, Wis.; Manu M. Sebastian, Tifton, Ga.; Mark A. Smith, Germantown, Md.; Deidre E. Stoffregen, Frederick, Md.; Francisco A. Uzal, San Bernardino, Calif.; Heather Walz, Auburn, Ala.; Amy L. Warren, Ithaca, N.Y.; Kimberly A. Whitten, Joppa, Md.; and Tanja S. Zabka, San Diego. Dr. Linda M. Berent, Columbia, Mo., already a diplomate of veterinary clinical pathology, received certification in veterinary anatomic pathology.

Certified as veterinary clinical pathologists were Drs. Ryan M. Dickinson, Madison, Wis.; Cornelia V. Gilroy, Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, Canada; Maria E. Gorman, Corvallis, Ore.; Kathryn Kewish, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Elizabeth K. Little, Yardley, Pa.; Jonathan Meyer, Hamilton, New Zealand; Mary B. Nabity, College Station, Texas; Valarie A. Pallatto, Sanford, N.C.; Penny K. Patten, Stillwater, Okla.; Heidi G.R. Peta, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada; Deanna M.W. Schaefer, Columbus, Ohio; Balazs Szladovits, London, England; and Heather C. Workman, Davis, Calif.