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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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FDA Veterinarian Newsletter November/December 2001 Volume XVI, No VI

by Shabbir Simjee, Ph.D.

The Division of Animal and Food Microbiology (DAFM) based at CVM's Office of Research (OR), Laurel, MD recently repeated a workshop on Microbiology and Molecular Biology due to an overwhelming response to the first workshop held in April, 2001. This workshop was open to all CVM employees and it was aimed at bringing everyone up to scratch with the latest techniques available. In addition it provided an opportunity for those employees that no longer do laboratory work to get some hands-on experience. The course also served as a refresher for those that have become somewhat rusty on methods and techniques.

The workshop consisted of a series of lectures and hands-on experience. In some cases, where hands-on is not practical, demonstrations were performed. The DAFM team has a diverse range of expertise ranging from basic microbiology to sophisticated state-of-the-art molecular biology expertise. As a result of all these skills, all members of the DAFM team took part in the organization, participation and demonstrations of the various aspects of the two-day course. The participants were divided into two teams, the micro team and the molecular team. Each team completed two days of seminars and hands-on work, concluding with a final Q&A session.

Subjects covered by the micro team included:

Isolation of Salmonella, Enterococcus, Campylobacter from retail meat samples, confirming bacterial identity by VITEK, Gen probe and enzyme immunoassay, antibiotic susceptibility testing by agar dilution, Kirby-Bauer, E-Test and broth microdilution.

Subjects covered by the molecular team included:

Introduction to DNA, the polymerase chain reaction, DNA sequencing, pulsed field gel electrophoresis, gene exchange by conjugation and concluding with a presentation on DNA sequence aliments, translations and looking for mutations.

Eighteen members from various units of CVM attended the fall course held October 3-4, 2001.

Dr. Shabbir Simjee is a Microbiologist in CVM's Office of Research.