September 2017

KSVDL pathologist Dr. Brad Njaa provides necropsy training to graduate students during Transboundary Animal Diseases course

Dr. Brad Njaa, a KSVDL board-certified pathologist, participated in a 3 credit graduate course entitled Transboundary Animal Diseases (TAD) that was offered this summer at KSU at the Biosecurity Research Institute. Dr. Njaa served as a guest lecturer, and Dr. Dana Vanlandingham, an Associate Professor in Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, was the course coordinator. Dr. Alfonso Torres was the primary course instructor. He is Professor Emeritus of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the former Director of USDA’s Plum Island Disease Center, and is now an Adjunct Professor in Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology in the KSU-CVM.

During the morning session, Dr. Njaa performed a calf-necropsy with emphasis on sample collection and potential lesions that could afflict a bovine had it been infected with one of several TADs. Although the ideal scenario would have been to encourage the students to participate in necropsy exams of animals truly infected with TADs at a facility such as Plum Island or NBAF, neither facility was available for participation in this course.

The course focused on understanding the pathology, potential spread, and impact of Transboundary Animal Diseases in the U.S. and worldwide. A few of the diseases discussed included foot and mouth disease, vesicular stomatitis, screwworm, and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

As a reminder to practicing veterinarians, if clinical signs suggest a TAD, the first course of action is to call your regional USDA veterinarian. These veterinarians will provide guidance concerning the next appropriate steps, and they will usually conduct any diagnostic sampling and submission activities.

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