The Bacteriology and Toxicology Sections of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) at Purdue University are submitting a grant proposal for the funding opportunity entitled "Vet-LIRN Cooperative Agreement Program to Expand and Validate Testing Methods for Food Contaminants in Animal Diagnostic Specimens (U18)," FOA number PA-13-244. As members of the FDA Vet-LIRN network, we recognize the need to expand on and validate testing methods for bacterial and chemical adulterants in complex sample matrices for which veterinary diagnostic laboratories are often tasked with analyzing. Therefore, the Purdue ADDL is submitting this proposal to validate testing methods for both bacterial and chemical contaminants in a variety of sample matrices. This proposal begins with validation and harmonization of methods by standard, currently used techniques and moves toward new, rapid and accurate matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) techniques in later years. During the first two years of funding, the Toxicology Section will validate qualitative and quantitative detection methods for strychnine and the organophosphate insecticides diazinon, parathion and terbufos in blood, liver and pet food using gas chromatography/electron-capture detection (GC/ECD) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and submit these for Level 3, multi-laboratory validation. During the third and fourth year of funding the Bacteriology Section will validate MALDI-TOF MS identification of the food borne pathogens Salmonella sp., Listeria sp. and Campylobacter sp. on various commonly used solid media, and perform harmonization of culture and MALDI-TOF MS identification methods for detection in canned pet food according to Level 3, multi-laboratory validation. The last year of funding for this proposal will be used to develop novel methods for the rapid identification of strychnine in biological samples and to develop methods for identification of pathogens from liquid culture using MALDI-TOF MS and will follow Level 2 validation guidelines. The expected outcomes of this proposal include defining validation protocols and standardized procedures for test methods to be shared among the FDA Vet-LIRN member laboratories.
The mission of the Purdue ADDL is to ensure the safety of companion animals, food-producing animals, and human health through the diagnostic services provided by the Bacteriology and Toxicology Sections. Ensuring the health and safety of companion and food-producing animals serves to prevent contamination of the human food supply and safeguards public health as animals often serve as sentinels for human exposure to bacterial disease and toxicants. Harmonizing testing procedures for the bacterial and chemical adulterants, as defined in this proposal, will strengthen communication and collaboration among the Vet-LIRN cooperative agreement laboratories, assist in building an integrated laboratory testing capacity, and enhance our outbreak preparedness in order for the laboratories to work rapidly and collectively in response to bacterial or chemical contamination events that can potentially, adversely affect animal and human health.