One Health Summit, study setting stage for policies, initiatives
A recent summit and an upcoming study will help the One Health Commission and other advocates of the one-health concept in developing policies and initiatives to increase collaboration among the fields of human, animal, and ecosystem health.
The One Health Commission held the Nov. 17 One Health Summit in Washington, D.C., in partnership with two arms of the National Academies—the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. At the summit, the Institute of Medicine formally announced its intent to conduct a study that will shape the one-health vision.
Health experts convened the summit to raise awareness of the im-portance of transcending institutional and disciplinary boundaries to improve health for all species. The half-day summit attracted about 150 attendees representing government, academia, scientific associations and institutions, the private sector, and the military.
The summit's keynote speaker was Doug O'Brien, JD, senior adviser to the U.S. agriculture secretary.
The summit's other speakers addressed topics such as emerging zoonoses, wildlife disease, and workforce issues. Speakers included Rear Adm. Ali Khan, MD, acting director of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Joshua Sharfstein, MD, principal deputy commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; and Allen Dearry, PhD, an associate director of the National Institute of En-vironmental Health Sciences. Among the veterinarians who spoke were Dr. Karen Marie Becker, senior veterinary public health adviser for the Africa Bureau of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Dr. Elizabeth A. Lautner, director of the National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
The forthcoming Institute of Medicine study will examine the interdependencies of human, animal, and ecosystem health and assess the potential value of a collaborative approach toward improving health worldwide. The results of the study will inform development of a strategic road map for policies and initiatives to implement the one-health approach. The Institute of Medicine plans to start the study early next year, pending the acquisition of sufficient funding.
An audio recording of the One Health Summit is available at www.nationalacademies.org/newsroom. Slides from some of the presentations are at www.onehealthcommission.org/summit-agenda.html.
AVMA renews VLE sponsorship, moves ahead with diversity plan
The AVMA Executive Board, during its Nov. 19-21, 2009, meeting, dealt with proposals addressing a range of issues, including veterinary student development, diversity within the profession, and strategic alliances.
The board approved $79,125 in new spending for the 2010 budget—$75,000 from reserves and $4,125 from the contingency fund.
In addition, the board made recommendations to the AVMA House of Delegates on the five resolutions and three bylaws amendments coming before the body during its regular winter session this January in Chicago; see “Resolutions, amendments slated” on page 8.
Among its many other actions, the board voted in favor of renewing sponsorship of the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Experience with a twoyear commitment totaling $150,000.
Since 2005, the AVMA has provided a total of $315,000 to fund the popular student development program. But the board voted this past July to suspend its sponsorship while the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division determined whether the Association could better support veterinary students through other initiatives.
After interviewing veterinary students and faculty and conducting a review of other student-aimed programs, the M&FS Division, along with AVMA CEO W. Ron DeHaven, recommended that the board fund the VLE at $75,000 annually in 2010 and 2011.
The board approved incorporating a draft AVMA Diversity Plan into the AVMA Strategic Plan. The diversity plan will incorporate recommendations from the 2006 Report of the AVMA Task Force on Diversity as tactics under the Association's existing strategic objectives.
The draft diversity plan adds a number of tactics to increase the diversity of the profession under the AVMA's strategic goals in advocacy, animal welfare, economic viability, veterinary education, and workforce development.
The AVMA plans to develop an alliance with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. The board approved a draft framework outlining the structure of the alliance, which would allow NAVTA members to be NAVTA affiliate members of the AVMA.
As part of the alliance, the AVMA would provide NAVTA affiliate members with access to many of the Association's services. However, NAVTA affiliate members would not be able to vote or hold office in the AVMA. A final proposal will be reviewed by the Executive Board at a later date.
The board approved exploring a partnership with the Department of Agriculture to file an application to establish a joint OIE Collaborating Center for Animal Welfare. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) defines collaborating centers as centers of expertise in specific spheres relevant to animal health.
Proposal would increase member dues in 2011
The AVMA House of Delegates is set to consider a resolution to increase member dues in 2011 so that the Association can continue to provide services, address professional issues, and remain financially sound.
The Executive Board and House Advisory Committee are co-sponsoring the resolution that would increase annual dues by $50 for regular members to $300 beginning in 2011. Associate and affiliate members would pay the same as regular members. Retirees, educational members, and recent graduates would pay half as much. The House of Delegates will vote on the resolution Jan. 9, 2010, at its regular winter session.
The AVMA last increased dues effective in 2002 and 2004, by $25 each time for regular members. Dues would have equaled $307.50 in 2011 if the Association had instituted a 3 percent annual cost-of-living adjustment over the seven years from 2004-2011.
As of Oct. 31, the Association was projecting a deficit of $1.8 million for 2009, following a $7 million deficit in 2008—largely due to the effects of the economic downturn on investment earnings and journal advertising. The AVMA has drawn down its reserves to make up the difference between income and expenses. The board, treasurer, and staff found ways to cut costs substantially to balance the $28.6 million budget for 2010.
Dr. John R. Scamahorn, Executive Board chair, said the Association must increase dues at some point. “We've got to continue to move forward with the services to the members. We need to address the strategic goals in animal welfare, workforce development, economic viability, advocacy, and veterinary education.”
The complete JAVMA News article about the potential dues increase is available at www.avma.org by clicking on JAVMA News and selecting the Dec. 15, 2009, issue.
Resolutions, amendments slated
During its regular winter session Jan. 9, the AVMA House of Delegates will consider resolutions relevant to animal well-being and Association matters as well as proposed bylaws amendments that address leadership representation.
The Executive Board during its own meeting Nov. 19-21 added its recommendations on the resolutions and amendments the HOD is scheduled to consider.
Five resolutions and three proposed bylaws amendments are on the HOD agenda. To view the full texts, go to www.avma.org, click on the “About the AVMA” bar, then on “House of Delegates 2010 Winter Session Agenda Items.”
Resolutions 1 and 4 propose two contrasting revisions to the AVMA policy “Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats in Research, Testing, and Education.” Current policy states there is ample justification for prudent and humane use of random-source dogs and cats in research, testing, and education, provided that specified conditions are met.
“Random-source” means dogs and cats obtained from animal pounds or shelters, auction sales, or any person who did not breed and raise them on his or her premises. Those using random-source animals may obtain them from class B dealers—brokers, bunchers, and operators of auction sales. Class B dealers typically obtain their animals from pounds and shelters, owners who wish to relinquish ownership, and other sources, including class A dealers. Class A dealers are breeders who deal only in animals they breed and raise on their premises or animals that are acquired for the purpose of maintaining or enhancing the breeding colony. The Department of Agriculture licenses class A and class B dealers.
The New Jersey, Virginia, and Pennsylvania VMAs submitted Resolution 1, “Revise Policy on Use of Random-Source Dogs and Cats for Research, Testing, and Education.” This resolution would revise AVMA policy to state that class B dealers should not be used. The submitters believe that more humane and acceptable alternatives exist.
The American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners submitted Resolution 4, “Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research.” It would revise AVMA policy to provide for use of class B dealers only when viable alternatives do not exist and for exploration of alternative sources that would ultimately eliminate the need for these dealers as sources.
The Executive Board recommended approval of Resolution 4 and disapproval of Resolution 1.
Resolution 2, submitted by the Executive Board, is a proposal to increase member dues; see “Proposal would increase member dues in 2011” on page 7.
Resolution 3 would restructure the HOD reference committees to reflect the AVMA strategic goals. The Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont VMAs submitted “Charge the House Advisory Committee to Restructure the House Reference Committees.” Their intent is to shift the reference committees from reviewing reports toward establishing policy and working on ideas to achieve the Association's strategic goals. The Executive Board made no recommendation.
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians submitted Resolution 5, “Swine Disease Surveillance,” which would commit AVMA to support the development of a comprehensive, integrated disease surveillance of the U.S. swine herd for H1N1 and other influenza viruses, emerging and endemic diseases, and foreign animal diseases. The Executive Board recommended approval.
The Executive Board submitted the first of the three proposed amendments to the AVMA Bylaws. In Bylaws Amendment 1, the board proposes adding the Student AVMA president to the list of participants who are invited to participate, without a vote, in regular and special meetings of the board. The current invitees are the treasurer, chair of the House Advisory Committee, executive vice president, and assistant executive vice president. At present, the SAVMA president attends some board meetings as a guest. The board believes that extending a seat at the table will foster improved dialogue. This proposal originated with the Task Force on Future Roles and Expectations.
The other two proposed amendments relate to composition of the HOD and terms for HOD members.
Bylaws Amendment 2 would add a provision to the section on composition of the HOD stating that—except for voting rights—delegates and alternate delegates would have equal authority and responsibility within the HOD. The House Advisory Committee submitted the proposed amendment. In its accompanying statement, HAC explains the amendment would clarify that the term “alternate” does not carry the same meaning it does in other areas of AVMA governance of a person formally accepted as a substitute for a regular representative. The Executive board recommended disapproval.
The Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont VMAs submitted Bylaws Amendment 3 proposing term limits for delegates and alternate delegates. To attract more new members with fresh ideas to the HOD, the co-sponsors propose a limit of 12 consecutive years' service, after which a member would be ineligible to serve for three years. Filling an unexpired term of a year or less would not count toward the limit.
The existing bylaw provides for each delegate and alternate delegate to serve a four-year term or until a successor is appointed. The amendment would replace that with a three-year term, renewable once. Thereafter, a delegate would be eligible to serve only as an alternate delegate for a three-year term, renewable once. Likewise, an alternate delegate who completed two three-year terms could then serve only as a delegate for a three-year term, renewable once.
If approved, the amendment would take effect as each delegate or alternate delegate who holds a seat as of Jan. 9, 2010, concludes his or her term. The Executive Board recommended approval, although some board members viewed term lengths as a decision for each constituent organization.
Morris research funding includes canine influenza
Morris Animal Foundation will fund research on canine influenza and many other animal health issues in 2010, with support for more than 200 studies totaling $13 million over the next three years.
The foundation is funding a new three-year study of canine influenza to help shelters develop effective testing and control methods to limit the effects of the disease. Dr. Gabriele A. Landolt of Colorado State University will lead the project in partnership with six shelters across the country and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Since 2005, Morris has provided nearly half a million dollars in funding to study canine influenza.
The foundation is supporting other new studies in 2010 relevant to the health of dogs, cats, horses, llamas, alpacas, and a variety of wildlife species. The foundation's Canine Cancer Campaign will fund research regarding the prevention and treatment of cancer in dogs. The Happy Healthy Cat Campaign will fund three studies investigating the transmission of upper respiratory tract infection in shelter cats, among other projects. Morris also will provide major funding for its Equine Consortium for Genetic Research.
The foundation will devote about $3 million of the $13 million in funding to training new veterinary scientists. Morris offers short-term research grants through its Veterinary Student Scholars program and partnered last year with Pfizer Animal Health to provide Veterinary Fellowships for Advanced Study for veterinarians pursuing research careers.
California global health institute established
Global health outreach efforts have received another boost, this time in California, where a new institute has been established.
The University of California announced the launch of its Global Health Institute Nov. 9, 2009. It will focus the combined expertise of the university's 10 campuses on solving increasingly complex global health problems.
UC-San Francisco's Global Health Sciences will administer a $3.99 million, two-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to plan the institute, which is intended to become self-supporting through gifts, grants, and revenue from enrollment fees. Center leaders will work during the current academic year with the institute's administrative core to map out education, research, and partnership programs and intervention activities.
Initially the institute will offer a one-year master's degree, enrolling its first students in fall 2011. Eventually it also will offer two-year master's and doctoral degree programs, granted by the UC campuses where the students will conduct their work.
The new institute will include three multicampus, multidisciplinary centers of expertise: One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society; Migration and Health; and Women's Health and Empowerment. The first two centers will respectively be directed by faculty members from UC-Davis' School of Veterinary Medicine and School of Medicine. The third center will be led by faculty members at UCSan Francisco and UCLA.
The One Health: Water, Animals, Food and Society center will be led by Dr. Patricia A. Conrad, a professor at the UC-Davis veterinary school, in collaboration with Anil B. Deolalikar, PhD, an economics professor. Also participating in this center will be the Berkeley, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz campuses.
Dr. Conrad noted that the One Health center will capitalize on the success of a new international effort based at UC-Davis named PREDICT, which is aimed at detecting and controlling diseases that move between wildlife and people. That global early warning system was established in October 2009 with a $75 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (see AJVR, December 2009, page 1440).
Millions awarded for disease prevention research
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received nearly $10 million to fund research that would aid in disease surveillance.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced Nov. 19 it would give the university a five-year, $9.5 million grant to identify virus mutations that would serve as early warnings of potential pandemic influenza viruses.
Dr. Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a virologist at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, is principal investigator on the project. It brings together an international team of scientists trying to find a more reliable method of identifying influenza threats to human health.
To facilitate early recognition, Dr. Kawaoka and his colleagues will look for mutations in viral proteins that allow avian influenza viruses to bind to human receptors or facilitate efficient replication in human cells.
The foundation, known for its work in helping developing countries, gave away $2.8 billion in 2008. This most recent grant dovetails with efforts by the U.S. government to prevent the next global pandemic. The U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $75 million grant to more than a dozen nonprofits, universities, and organizations to establish a global early warning system (see AJVR, December 2009, page 1440).
Applications sought for research involving drugs, model development
Up to $18,000 in funding will be given for research projects involving veterinary drugs and development and validation of condition or disease models.
The American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Foundation and the Veterinary Pharmacology Research Foundation are seeking proposals for studies that evaluate safety and effectiveness of veterinary therapies, evaluate new drug therapies for animals, develop and validate models of animal diseases or conditions, or ensure that drug therapies do not compromise food safety.
Applications are due by Jan. 22, and more information is available at www.acvimfoundation.org/grants/apply.html
Professor elected to prominent health institution
A veterinarian noted for his work with infectious diseases has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Terry F. McElwain is a professor of pathology and infectious diseases in Washington State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. McElwain holds a number of other titles, including executive director of the Washington Animal Disease Laboratory, which is a founding member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and Laboratory Response Network for Bioterrorism. He also directs WSU's Animal Health Research Center and is a member of the board of directors of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.
More recently, Dr. McElwain served as a member of the IOM's expert committee to provide consensus advice on the challenge of achieving sustainable global capacity for surveillance and response to emerging diseases.
Dr. McElwain is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and a 1980 graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Only 16 veterinarians are counted among the institute's ranks, including Dr. McElwain's collegue at WSU, Dr. Guy Palmer.
Research awards conferred
Following are winners of the 2009 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence at 25 veterinary schools. The Pfizer award recognizes researchers whose innovative studies have advanced the scientific standing of veterinary medicine.
Edward E. Morrison, PhD, Auburn University
Gino A. Cortopassi, PhD, University of California-Davis
Daniel Gustafson, PhD, Colorado State University
Margaret S. Bynoe, PhD, Cornell University
Mark Jackwood, PhD, University of Georgia
Jodi Flaws, PhD, University of Illinois
Tanja Opriessnig, DVM, PhD, Iowa State University
David G. Renter, DVM, PhD, Kansas State University
Shisheng Li, PhD, Louisiana State University
John M. Kruger, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University
Mathur S. Kannan, BVSc, PhD, University of Minnesota
David Christiansen, DVM, Mississippi State University
Richard M. Hopper, DVM, Mississippi State University
Peter L. Ryan, PhD, Mississippi State University
F. Kevin Walters, DVM, Mississippi State University
Joan R. Coates, DVM, University of Missouri-Columbia
Jorge Piedrahita, PhD, North Carolina State University
James K. Belknap, DVM, PhD, The Ohio State University
Lin Liu, PhD, Oklahoma State University
Michael L. Kent, PhD, Oregon State University
David Artis, PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Gert J. Breur, DVM, PhD, Purdue University
Dickson D. Varner, DVM, Texas A&M University
Charles Shoemaker, PhD, Tufts University
Nammalwar Sriranganathan, BVSc, PhD, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
David Rector, PhD, Washington State University
Miguel Saggese, DVM, PhD, Western University of Health Sciences
John Svaren, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
FDA alerts veterinarians to problems with Vetsulin
The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine and Vetsulin manufacturer Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health are warning veterinarians that recent formulations may contain varying amounts of crystalline zinc insulin.
An FDA alert warned that because Vetsulin is out of specification, use of the drug could cause a delay in insulin action and an overall longer duration of insulin activity. Unstable insulin products can result in unpredictable fluctuations in blood glucose concentrations in diabetic patients. According to the FDA alert, Intervet/Schering-Plough is unable to assure the agency that each batch of Vetsulin is stable.
The FDA and Intervet/Schering-Plough request that veterinarians closely monitor patients receiving Vetsulin for any changes in onset or duration of activity and for any signs of hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
Vetsulin supplies may become limited while Intervet/Schering-Plough is working with the FDA on resolving problems with the product. According to the FDA, veterinarians should consider transitioning diabetic patients to other insulin products. Also, the FDA encourages veterinarians to report any adverse events with Vetsulin to Intervet/Schering-Plough through the Technical Services Department at (800) 224-5318.
Hospira recalls propofol that may contain particulate matter
Hospira of Lake Forest, Ill., is recalling certain lots of propofol injectable emulsion 1% because some containers may contain particulate matter.
For the same reason, the company also is recalling certain lots of its Liposyn intravenous fat emulsion. Hospira identified stainless-steel manufacturing equipment as the source of the particulate matter and has implemented corrective actions.
The recall affects 73 lots of propofol 1% and 85 lots of Liposyn II 10%, Liposyn II 20%, Liposyn III 10%, Liposyn III 20%, and Liposyn III 30% that begin with the lot numbers 79 and 80. Hospira distributed these lots between July and October 2009.
Anyone with an inventory of these products should quarantine the products and call Stericycle at (866) 654-0725 to arrange for a return. Hospira Medical Communications will address medical inquiries at (800) 615-0187 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.
Product users also may report any adverse reactions or quality problems to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch Program by phone at (800) FDA-1088, by fax at (800) FDA-0178, via the MedWatch Web site at www.fda.gov/medwatch, or by mail at MedWatch, FDA, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20852-9787.
Hospira is currently manufacturing both products and has begun to ship replacements. Additional details are available from Hospira Customer Care at (877) 946-7747.