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_|USA: POULTRY: UD gets grant for avian flu research|_

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  • _|USA: POULTRY: UD gets grant for avian flu research|_

    POULTRY: UD gets grant for avian flu research

    By RACHEL KIPP ? The News Journal ? August 2, 2008

    DOVER -

    Researchers at the University of Delaware and 17 other institutions received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue research and outreach programs related to avian flu.

    Teams from the participating schools will use the funding to develop quicker and more effective ways to diagnose avian flu in flocks living in the wild, in farms or private homes and in the poultry industry, said Jack Gelb, director of UD's Avian Biosciences Center.

    "This is something that's right for Delaware in terms of it's a good fit," Gelb said.

    "We work very closely with our local and regional poultry industries, and we have a good sense of what the needs are."

    The grant allows the schools to continue projects that began with initial funding in 2005.

    Using that money, researchers created a continent-wide network to study the ecological and biological characteristics of avian flu, integrated research into an education program available to a wide range of poultry producers and developed vaccines for mass immunization of birds.

    "It's important that not only are we able to diagnose the disease rapidly, specifically and quickly but ... ultimately these flocks need to be depopulated very quickly to prevent the spread within poultry and to minimize any transmission to humans," Gelb said.

    In addition to UD, institutions participating in the Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project include the University of Maryland; Virginia Tech, Auburn University; the University of California, Davis; the University of Georgia; Ohio State University; Oregon State University; Texas A&M University; Western University Health Sciences; and the USDA-Agriculture Research Service's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory.