Avian Bioscience Center
The Avian Biosciences Center One Health Perspective
The Avian Biosciences Center (ABC) takes a One Health approach to the study of avian species across the Delaware-Maryland-Virginia Peninsula (Delmarva) and beyond. The Delmarva provides an ideal One Health model, located in the densely human populated Northeast corridor of the United States there are also high concentrations of commercial poultry and the environmental habitat for large numbers of waterfowl on the Atlantic flyway. Situated between the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River/Bay, the large human and poultry populations impact these waterways and wild bird populations. This geographic confluence makes animal health and food safety diagnosis, surveillance, and public education related to avian species and poultry products an important part of regional and national human health efforts. Just one example of the holistic One Health approach within ABC is the study of Avian Influenza (AI), as it touches on all three parts of the One Health triad. The natural reservoir of AI is wild waterfowl; these waterfowl during their migrations can interact with domestic poultry, potentially infecting them, which is a major concern for the poultry industry. Finally, in rare instances, humans can become infected with AI, and AI related viruses have caused several influenza outbreaks.
The ABC provides a confluence of interdisciplinary curricular programming, health surveillance, public outreach, and collaborative research studies, which are the hallmark of a One Health initiative. Researchers of the ABC investigate poultry One Health topics including, Avian Influenza and other poultry viruses, food safety, disease surveillance and response, and numerous other areas covered on this site. The ABC, through the University of Delaware Poultry Health System, provides comprehensive poultry and domestic avian diagnostic surveillance. Training and educational outreach efforts reach regional (4H/extension), national (Laboratory USDA Veterinary Services and National Veterinary Stockpile, Produce Safety and Food Safety Modernization Act Training), and international audiences (Emergency Poultry Disease Certificate Program and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Quality Assurance Training Program). These educational and research efforts utilize an established One Health infrastructure, including a BSL2/3 laboratory; a 350 acre farm facility housing multiple agricultural animal species, pasture, wetlands, and forested land (Newark); and two educational/research building complexes on Newark and Georgetown campuses.
The One Health approach of the ABC provides a comprehensive research, surveillance, training and outreach effort and is critical to a more complete understanding of human, animal and environmental health with an avian focus on Delmarva.