CaribVET participated in the PROCINORTE workshop on Genomic Tools in Animal Health Research (Mexico, 3-5 September 2018)

CaribVET participated in the annual workshop of PROCINORTE - a Cooperative Program in Research and Technology for the Northern Region (Canada, USA, Mexico). This year, the workshop focused on genomic tools in animal health research. Our colleague, Dr. Carmen Laura, researcher at CENSA (Cuba) presented her work on Classical Swine Fever and represented CaribVET at the workshop.

By Carmen Laura Perera Gonzalez, CENSA (Cuba)

PROCINORTE is a Network of national agricultural research bodies in the three countries of North America: Canada, USA and Mexico. It supports agricultural trade through sound science and knowledge-sharing in areas of trilateral relevance. The Animal Health Task Force (PAHTF) which mission is to develop and promote research and knowledge in prioritized areas of animal health of common interest for North America, meets annually to discuss various themes. After Vector-Borne Diseases in 2017, the workshop focused on "Genomic tools for Animal Health Research". 

The event was held in Mexico City, and organized by Dr. Cyril Gay, USDA-ARS (USA), Dr. José López, CFIA (Canada) and Dr. Elizabeth Loza-Rubio, INIFAP (Mexico). 

Dr. Carmen Laura gave an Key Note presentation during the inaugural session on "CaribVET - Overview of Research Interests". She introduced the participants (animal health researchers from Canada, Mexico and the USA, members of PAHTF) with the Caribbean Network, it objectives, and its interests in research. Examples of operation of CaribVET were illustrated through Cuba's participation in several working groups and projects: Epigroup (risk assessment tools, risk-based surveillance applied to Avian Influenza and other swine diseases; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, organisation of interlaboratory comparison test on CSF for the Caribbean and Central America, participation in simulation exercises, ...   

Dr. Laura also presented her work during the Session 2 - Genomic tools for biodefense: "Spatiotemporal distribution of endemic classical swine fever in Cuba and molecular characterization of a low virulence strain". She presented an overview of CSF situation in Cuba, the genetic evolution of viruses, and sequencing results of a low pathogenic strain aiming to identify virulence markers. 

The workshop was the opportunity to share knowledge on the many applications of genomic tools in animal health research in North America - for biodefense, microbiome discovery and study of bacterial genomics, animal susceptibility to diseases. More information: see Agenda here 

At the end of the workshop a panel of discussion was organized to identify research needs, priority and potential collaborations, as well as identification of follow-up actions. 

The conclusions of the worskhop will be shared with the recently formed CaribVET "Research and One health" Group and with the Coordination Unit in order to define how to follow-up. 

The Caribbean Animal Health Network wishes to thank the organizators of the PROCINORTE workshop, USDA ARS and IICA for the funding support. 

Published: 18/09/2018

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