Conference to strengthen data sharing between animal and public health laboratories

The College of Veterinary Medicine will host a conference this week on sharing antimicrobial resistance data between veterinary and public health agencies and stakeholders. The May 3-4 event will feature experts from federal and state agencies, universities, public health organizations, veterinary diagnostic laboratories and commercial partners from around the country.

“The goal of the conference is to discuss current antimicrobial profiling practices and how we share multiple types of complex data between veterinary diagnostic and public health laboratories,” said Laura Goodman Ph.D. ’07, assistant research professor and member of the conference organizing committee.

“Improved sharing across jurisdictions of resistance data collected from different sources will be essential to improving our ability to develop and implement a systems approach to combat antimicrobial resistance. This symposium will be a critical step towards this goal,” said Martin Wiedmann Ph.D. ’97, the Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Veterinary diagnostic laboratories help provide early detection of emerging diseases and play an increasing role in biosurveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that affect humans. These labs routinely encounter conditions and disease agents that are of current and emerging public health concern, such as multi-drug resistant strains of Salmonella. Laboratories like Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center perform thousands of antimicrobial susceptibility tests annually and are using whole genome sequencing to discover, characterize and track disease agents across human and animal populations.

“The meeting aligns with the vision of the Department of Health-led New York State Antimicrobial Resistance Prevention and Control Task Force to work collaboratively with statewide stakeholders improve detection, prevention and control of antimicrobial resistance,” said Andie Newman ’87, DVM ‘91, State Public Health Veterinarian.

Lorin D. Warnick Ph.D. ’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, will provide the opening remarks, and Christopher Braden ’83, deputy director of the CDC National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, will lead a seminar entitled “Pathogens, outbreaks and the critical role of public health microbiology.” The conference will explore current capacities for antibiotic susceptibility testing and whole genome sequencing, state and regional One Health efforts, environmental monitoring, best practices for the exchange of information, client confidentiality and barriers to exporting data.

The conference is sponsored by the New York Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence, a joint venture between the New York State Department of Health and Cornell University that aims to strengthen foodborne illness surveillance and investigations. Although registration for the event is closed, Braden’s seminar is open to the Cornell campus as part of the Seminars in Infection & Immunity series.

By Melanie Greaver Cordova