The United States Animal Health Association and American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians have plans underway for their 2013 joint annual meeting, scheduled for October 17-23, 2013 in San Diego, Calif. This year's joint plenary session on Monday, October 21 will feature, "Vaccines: 100 Years of Virus-Serum-Toxin Act and Beyond." The session will provide a historical look at the Virus Serum Toxin over the years, including key disease impacts and economics in the swine industry, as well as address current vaccine technology and what the future may hold.

"The 2013 United States Animal Health Association/American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Plenary Session should provide a very comprehensive look at a very important tool for animal health -- vaccines," said Dr. Steve Crawford, U.S. Animal Health Association program chair and New Hampshire State veterinarian. "Our goal is to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act, take a look at lessons learned over that time and how that will shape the future."


Crawford co-chairs the program with Dr. Catherine Barr, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Program Chair and quality assurance and safety manager with the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The two collaborated with colleagues, both in the U.S. and internationally, to develop the program. They have tapped Dr. Ron DeHaven, executive vice president of American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, to moderate the session, which includes the following presentations:

  • Hog cholera: The need for Virus-Serum-Toxin Act  
    • Dr. Rick Hill, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services
    • Key concepts: History lesson, challenges, implementation
  • The economics of vaccination: Why do we vaccinate?  
    • Speaker TBD, International Federation of Animal Health (pending confirmation)
    • Key concepts: disease control, eradication, vaccine development considerations, vaccine deployment and administration considerations, as an alternative to depopulation
  • Current technologies in vaccines  
    • Bryan Charleston, Pirbright or Dave Stuart, Oxford
    • Key concepts: Use foot-and-mouth disease vaccine development as example, DIVA technology, speeding up the process, future technologies, public-private collaborations, the use of genome sequencing
  • Autogenous vaccines: Isn't this why Virus-Serum-Toxin Act was established?  
    • Dr. John A. Smith, Fieldale Farms
    • Key concepts: Risk/benefit, approval process, development needs, quality control, organism isolation
  • Gap analysis for high-consequence diseases  
    • Dr. Luis Rodriguez, USDA, Agricultural Research Service
    • Key concepts: All with a focus on vaccines, African Swine Fever analysis conducted by Agricultural Research Service; current state, new spread, global implications, technology needs and advances
  • Future of vaccines: Beyond existing regulatory diseases  
    • Dr. Cyril Gay, USDA, Agricultural Research Service
    • Key concepts: Potential orbivirus gap analysis underway at Agricultural Research Service, possible involvement of regulatory medicine in the future of disease control beyond our current roles, what is the next frontier and/or how do we identify it?

In addition to the plenary session, the U.S. Animal Health Association hosts 30 committee sessions on a broad range of animal health topics. The meeting also includes several opportunities to hear the latest in disease research through the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians Scientific Sessions and poster displays. Registration is now available for interested attendees, with early-bird registration and membership discounts available.