The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has established a laboratory for the cultivation and isolation of viruses for a number of diseases affecting livestock. Viral cultivation is one of the important tests for detecting viral diseases and identifying sources of infection accurately and quickly, which helps to take appropriate measures and procedures to control them and protect the society from diseases and epidemics.
In this regard, Eng. Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, ADFCA's Official Spokesperson, said that Veterinary Laboratories Division of the authority is the first national veterinary laboratory that establishes a lab for viral cultivation, which will contribute to raising the capabilities of pathological diagnosis. He added that the laboratory has succeeded in cultivating, isolating and diagnosing a number of viruses. He noted laboratory will gradually increase its scope and means to include high-risk viruses.
"ADFCA is establishing two laboratories for tissue anatomy and analysis in Al Wathba and Zayed City, Al Dhafra. They will enhance the laboratory's ability to diagnose diseases affecting livestock," Al Qasemi added.
"Over the past period, the authority's veterinary laboratories have developed 26 new analyses to detect animal pathogens, such as camelpox, bluetongue disease, Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever, Newcastle disease, using molecular biology for the detection of antibodies against zoonotic pathogens in sera," he clarified.
He noted the development of these analyses aims to strengthen ADFCA's capabilities in diagnosing diseases and enhance its preparedness to combat any extraneous diseases to protect animal health and achieve bio-security. Furthermore, the authority is keen to implement quality systems in its veterinary laboratories to ensure the results accuracy by selecting the analysis' methods according to the approved international laboratories.
According to Al Qasemi, the percentage of completion of the analysis' efficiency recorded 98.04%, while the proportion of analysis addressed in ISO 17025 increased by 36% in 2017 compared to previous years.
"Due to the importance of human cadres in diagnosing disease, ADFCA's Veterinary Laboratories Division has been keen to train its staff and enhance their competencies by organizing continuous training programs inside and outside the country. The authority's employees have received 142 certificates of proficiency in 2017," Al Qasemi stated.
It is worth mentioning that the veterinary laboratories train not only ADFCA's staff but also students of various universities and Higher Colleges of Technology. The total number of trainees recently reached 109 trainees from inside and outside the country.
In its strive to achieve its vision of being an internationally recognized institution concerned with agriculture and food safety that contribute to the well-being of society, the veterinary laboratories department has been keen to represent ADFCA in the international scientific events. The department participated in seven international meetings held by the OIE, FAO, WHO, and other international scientific centers.
Given the importance of conducting research and scientific studies to develop pathological diagnosis and epidemiological understanding, the laboratories department made seven scientific studies during the past two years. Those studies were published in the international scientific magazines.