U.S.D.A. grants $5 million for A.I. research

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $5 million to the University of Maryland-College Park to study the prevention and control of avian influenza (A.I.).

The funding renews the Avian Influenza Coordinated Agricultural Project (AICAP), which originally was created in 2005 through the U.S.D.A.’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. The AICAP is composed of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and extension specialists representing 17 states.

Since it was founded in 2005, AICAP researchers and educators have accomplished several goals, including:

• Assembling the first continent-wide network to study the ecological and biological characteristics of avian influenza viruses isolated from wild birds;

• integrating research and education into a program available to a range of poultry producers;

• developing a testing component for rapid diagnosis of A.I. in birds; and

• developing promising vaccines for mass immunization of birds.

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