August 4, 2011
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) announced on July 15, 2011 the publication of a funding opportunity for cooperative agreements to further enhance the Center’s ability to evaluate potential risks of Salmonella-contaminated feeds on human and animal health by testing diagnostic samples from pets. Since then, CVM has received several questions; therefore, we are providing additional information in an attempt to further clarify.
In recent years, there have been an increasing number of human Salmonella outbreaks attributed to pet treats and pet foods. Salmonella infections can cause gastrointestinal disease in humans and animals. The occurrence of Salmonellosis in dogs and cats has not been adequately characterized. CVM is seeking applications that will provide information on the prevalence of Salmonella in fecal samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs and cats brought to veterinary clinics in order to gain further insight into the frequency of Salmonella infected companion animals. Bacteria will be isolated, identified and serotyped by the participating laboratories and the isolates will be submitted to FDA. Further DNA analysis will help CVM determine if the Salmonella strains isolated from pets are genetically similar to the strains previously isolated from humans or animal feeds. The data from this study will help CVM prioritize our investigations of foodborne diseases which adversely affect both animal and human health. The data will also help us rank future surveillance efforts.
The awarded cooperative agreements will be with CVM’s Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (Vet-LRN). Vet-LRN is a CVM program that coordinates facilities, equipment, and professional expertise of government and veterinary diagnostic laboratories across the country and Canada in response to investigations involving animal food or drug related illnesses.
Eligibility requirements to apply for a Vet-LRN cooperative agreement include: demonstrating an adequate veterinary case load at the institution, technical expertise and ability to conduct the appropriate volume of cultures. Applicants will also be evaluated as to their accreditation status and geographical location to provide program balance and a diverse patient population. The deadline for submission of applications is August 15, 2011.
Cooperative agreements will be available for up to $60,000 in total (direct plus indirect) costs for 1 year, with the possibility of a second year of funding. After the initial year of funding, future funding opportunities are planned but will be dependent upon the availability of funds.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement RFA-FD-11-010 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-FD-11-010.html and applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://apply07.grants.gov/apply/GetGrantFromFedgrants?opportunity=RFA-FD-11-0102).