Lab Matters Spring 2018 - Page 26

food safety A New Beginning: PulseNet Middle East Reinvigorated by Kristy Kubota, MPH, manager, PulseNet and Jeniffer Concepción-Acevedo, PhD, coordinator, PulseNet International, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention In December 2006, PulseNet Middle East (PNME) was established with the support of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO), APHL, the US Naval Medical Research Unit – No. 3 (NARMU-3) and 13 member states coordinated by the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) in Oman. PNME was established in part to support regional food safety plans which include molecular surveillance of foodborne diseases. But due to shifting priorities and political unrest in recent years, activities in the network had dwindled. In an effort to revitalize PulseNet activities in the region, APHL, CDC, EMRO, CPHL and participants from the American University of Beirut organized a workshop in Muscat, Oman February 13-15, 2018. Relaunching a Network Forty-three participants from 14 Middle Eastern countries attended the three-day workshop which served to prepare network laboratories for implementation of whole genome sequencing (WGS). Accomplishments during the workshop included selecting a steering committee, establishing a laboratory certification program, and discussing a strategic plan for updating the network’s Terms of Reference. Representatives from member states also shared current surveillance and outbreak activities for foodborne pathogens and challenges to integrating molecular subtyping methods, such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and WGS, to outbreak detection and response. Several public health laboratories in the region reported the capacity to perform WGS using IonTorrent sequencers. Attendees learned that the food safety authority in Sa VF&&2R`FRfWr&&F&W2FR&VvvFV֖֕6W6WVV6W"गB2v&rFv&BVƖf6F2dDvVUG&"&&F'F&VvFRfBBG'VrWF&GVFW"FR֖7G'bVFV6TW@2FWfVVB7FF&B&&F'&6VGW&W2f"tu2bWF'&V6W6p&7FW&ƖRƗ7FW&6&7FW"6VB6vF&GV6pR6ƒW6rFR֕6W6WVV6W"@27W'&VFǒ76W76rFR6F&ƗGbFffW&VB6WVV6rFf&2V&W"7FFW2GFVFpFRv&6&&ग&6֖2&WV&Ɩ2b&द&FषWv@V&Ɩ'&667FW7FPF 6VF&&7VFVFVB&"V֗&FW0frf'v&@FR6֖rF2FRP7FVW&r6֗GFVRBV&W"7FFW0vFWfV7G&FVwB7FFG&GV6Rtu27&72FRWGv&B"7&VFRG&rg&Wv&7VFVBFFRVVG2B66FW2`&&F&W2FR&VvBv6fƗRFRFW&2b&VfW&V6Rf FRV6TWB֖FFRV7BWGv&5v&VFR6&FFp6VFW"f"R7FfFW2B0FW7F&Ɨ6&w&2f"&f6V7FW7FrB7W7F&R6W'Ff6FBvFWfV6V6FFf&FFgV&W'2bfF&&PF6V6R6W7FW'2BfW7FvF2'F6Fr7FFW2'F6G2GFVBFRV6TWB֖FFRV7Bv&6W66BDtDUE$&VB&RFRv&6&W'BV6TWBFW&F2v&&&F'WGv&FBv&2FFVFgfF&&RfV7FW2F6V6RF&VG2vW&RFW&vFR6FW6&P7FVB&Vf&RFW7&VBFFW"6VG&W2B26&6VBbF&VvB7V"&Vv&&F'WGv&2g&666f26FWW&RFW&6FR6&&&VFR֖FFRV7BBFRU27W'&V@&&FW26VFRVVFFb7FF&FVBvVGrWFG2@FVƗfW'b&VFRf&FFV&W"WGv&2#@"EDU%27&r#V&Ɩ4VF'0&