Some 475 people gathered in St. Louis, Missouri, for the 86th annual meeting of the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, Dec. 4-6. The meeting was dedicated to Dr. William L. Mengeling of Ames, Iowa.
After receiving his DVM degree from Kansas State University in 1960, Dr. Mengeling practiced as a small animal clinician for a year in New Mexico before joining the Agriculture Department's National Animal Disease Center. There, he served as a research scientist and research leader before his appointment in 1991 to the senior executive service within the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
Dr. Mengeling's contributions to the improvement of animal agricultural research have had important economic benefits for the agricultural industry and on biomedical research. In 1999, he was inducted into the ARS Hall of Fame. The ARS Hall of Fame citation reads: "During his early career, he developed a diagnostic test which was the primary test used in eradicating hog cholera from U.S. swine herds. The United States was declared free of hog cholera in 1978, saving the swine industry more than $100 million annually.
"Mengeling was the first scientist to isolate porcine parvovirus from swine in the United States. He established under both laboratory and field conditions that this virus plays a role in maternal reproductive failure of swine. Mengeling's research provides a basis for enhanced understanding of several other swine diseases, including pseudorabies and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)."
Life membership was awarded to Drs. Richard J. Hidalgo, Baton Rouge, La., Edward C. Mather, East Lansing, Mich., and Ronald D. Smith, Urbana, Ill.
Officers of CRWAD for 2006 are Dr. Prem Paul, Lincoln, Neb., president; Dr. Lynn A. Joens, Tucson, Ariz., vice president; and Robert P. Ellis, PhD, Fort Collins, Colo., executive director.
At the CRWAD meeting, the Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine named Dr. James H. Steele the 2005 recipient of the Calvin W. Schwabe Award. At 92, Dr. Steele remains a world-renowned expert in veterinary public health.
A 1941 graduate of Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Steele advocated for veterinarians in public health, leading to acceptance of his recommendations to create within the U.S. Public Health Service the Veterinary Public Health Program in 1945 and the veterinary medical officer category in 1947.
Dr. Steele was the first chief of the Veterinary Public Health Division—the first such position established by any government in the world. In 1950, Dr. Steele became the first chief veterinary officer in the PHS and continued to expand the visibility of veterinary public health nationally and globally. In 1968, he became assistant surgeon general for Veterinary Affairs and was the first veterinary officer to attain two-star flag rank.
When he retired in 1971, Dr. Steele joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Public Health as professor of Environmental Health Sciences. Although he retired in 1983, he has remained closely involved with the university as an emeritus and has continued his extensive international efforts to enhance public health.
Recipients of the AVEPM student awards were as follows: Linda Lord, The Ohio State University, for "An analysis of factors associated with recovery of a lost pet." Audrey Torres, The Ohio State University, for "Maintaining udder health in low somatic cell count cows treated selectively at dry-off." J. T. Fox, Kansas State University, for "Influence of grain processing (steam flaked vs. dry rolled) on fecal shedding of E. coli O157 in feedlot heifers." Poster: Wonkie Bae, Washington State University, for "Association of antimicrobial resistance and PFGE genotypes of thermophilic Campylobacter spp. isolated from cattle farms in WA and CA." The Mark Gearhart Memorial Graduate Award in Veterinary Epidemiology was awarded to George Moore, Purdue University, for the following publications: "Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs" (JAVMA 2005; 227:1102-1108 [PDF]) and "Postmarketing surveillance for dog and cat vaccines: new resources in changing times" (JAVMA 2005; 227:1066-1069 [PDF]).
The American Association of Veterinary Immunologists presented Dr. Gary A. Splitter, Madison, Wis., with its Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist Award. Recipients of the AAVI award are individuals whose contribution to veterinary immunology is widely acknowledged as significant and important to the understanding of the immunology of domestic and/or wild animals.
Dr. Splitter is a 1969 graduate of Kansas State University and is now a professor in the Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Splitter studies host-pathogen interactions to better understand the host defense and pathogen evasion mechanisms that define a disease process.
Recipients of the AAVI student awards were as follows: First place: M. C. Dominguez, Universite de Montreal, for "Activation of innate immunity by the swine pathogen Streptococcus suis serotype 2 in both the central nervous system and at the systemic level using a murine experimental model of infection." Second place: M. Rambeaud, University of Tennessee, for "Differential intracellular calcium release in neutrophils of cattle with different CXCR2 genotypes upon interleukin-8 activation." Posters: Yanjing Xiao, Oklahoma State University, for "Structure-Activity relationships of fowlicidin-1, a novel cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide in chickens." X. Hu, Auburn University, for "Regulation of channel catfish hepcidin expression by infection and anemia."
The Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists presented the following student awards: First place: Dalen Agnew, University of California, Davis, for "A pregnant mouse model for Tritrichomonas foetus, infection and pregnancy loss." Second place: Eduardo Cobo, University of California-Davis, for "Incapacity of Tetratrichomonads and Pentatrichomonas hominis to colonize and survive in intravaginally inoculated heifers." Third place: John Schaefer, The Ohio State University, for "Preliminary observations of antibiotic efficacy associated with different means of experimentally infecting dogs with Ehrlichia canis."
The NC-1007 Gastroenteric Diseases Awards were presented to the following students: Kerry Cooper, University of Arizona, for "The ability of crude toxins from Clostridium perfringens type A to produce necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens." Poster: N. Holt, Kansas State University, "EAST 1 induces anion secretion by IPEC-J2 pig intestinal cells in vitro."
Recipients of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Awards, sponsored by the Animal Health Institute, were as follows: First place: Linda Highfield, Texas A&M University, for "A linked epidemic and transportation modeling environment for foreign animal disease intervention." Second place: Carlos Trincado, University of Minnesota, for "Evaluation and viability of two washing protocols for oocytes after culture with PRRSV, PCV-2 and PPV by PCR." Second place: Jill Bieker, Kansas State University and Sandia National Laboratories, for "Inactivation of bovine enterovirus-2 as a surrogate for foot and mouth disease virus."
Recipients of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists' graduate student awards were as follows: Lalitha Peddireddi, Chuanmin Cheng, Vijayakrishna Singu, Kamesh R. Sirigireddy, and Roman R. Ganta, Kansas State University, for "Unique macrophage and tick cell-specific gene expression from the p28-Omp multilocus of Ehrlichia chafeensis, a possible strategy to aid the pathogen to persist." P. J. Plummer, M. Akiba, and Q. Zhang, Iowa State University, for "The identification and characterization of a naturally occurring autoinducer-2 deficient strain of Campylobacter jejuni." N. B. Butchi, S. Perez, A. Doster, R. Sangena Boyina, J. Simon, and S.I. Chowdhury, Kansas State University, for "Role of envelope proteins gE and Us9 in the anterograde transport of BHV-1 following reactivation in the trigeminal ganglia." Poster: Alexander Maas, Jochen Meens, and Gerald F. Gerlach, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany, for "Development of a negative marker subunit vaccine against Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae infection." The Don Kahn Award was given to V. Chauhan, J.M. Rowland, and R.R.R. Rowland, Kansas State University, for "Absence of nuclear targeting activity within the lysine-rich domain of the SARS-CoV N protein is the result of an aspartic acid residue at position 372."
Additionally, the ACVM recognized two new diplomates upon successful completion of certifying examinations. Dr. Deepanker Tewari, Harrisburg, Pa., was certified in immunology and Dr. Rebecca P. Wilkes, Maryville, Tenn., was certified in virology.