The Animal Health Laboratory (AHL), as a part of Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN; an initiative of the US Food and Drug Administration), is proposing to purchase a MiSeq Illumina gene sequencing instrument. Our goal is to increase the surge capacity of Vet-LIRN as currently only 4 of 24 Vet- LIRN laboratories in North America have this instrument. In the case of an outbreak and disease investigation that would put an extra strain on these laboratories, having an additional international site with synchronized equipment and methodology would be beneficial. In addition, the use of this technology will allow us to detect new and emerging threats to agriculture, human health and public safety through routine food outbreak investigation and also through routine investigation of animal disease outbreaks.
The Animal Health Laboratory has been participating in pathogen susceptibility testing as per the requirements of the Vet-LIRN Pilot AMR and Sequencing project. As only a limited number of labs are doing whole genome sequencing (WGS), we propose to purchase a MiSeq Illumina gene sequencer to increase the surge capacity of the Vet-LIRN network and to harmonize equipment being used. In addition, that equipment will be used to conduct diagnostic testing for Vet-LIRN case investigations (e.g., detection of Salmonella serotypes at the same time as detection of Salmonella in food outbreaks).