The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Agricultural Biosecurity program supports research which increases the national capacity to prevent, rapidly detect, and respond to biological threats to the U.S. agriculture and food supply.
2021 Project Highlights
- African swine fever virus (ASFv) has spread rapidly through many parts of the world where it has had devastating impacts on swine production. In 2021, ASFv was detected in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which is to date the closest it has come to the mainland United States. This represents a pivotal threat to the U.S. swine industry and USDA NIFA is committed to funding innovative research that address key knowledge gaps in the detection of, response to, and recovery from ASFv infection. In 2021, NIFA funded 3 ASFv projects with objectives ranging from developing novel diagnostic tests to aid in detection of ASFv, evaluating feed components as possible entry points for ASFv into the U.S., and modeling the potential for spread of ASFv in U.S. feral swine populations as a threat to commercial production systems.
- Early and accurate detection and diagnosis of pests and diseases of plants and efficient and timely communication chains that allow for effective mitigation are essential to ensuring plant and food biosecurity. In 2021 NIFA funded a project to develop a Diagnostic Assay Validation Network (DAVN) to standardize the reference standards, terminology, and statistics used in diagnostic assay development and validation. The portal will be made widely available to the research and extension community. In total, these projects will improve our ability to protect animal and plant production from a multitude of threats for the benefit of producers, consumers, and the U.S. economy.