ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Veterinary diagnosticians, technicians and inspectors from the Republic of Kazakhstan received advanced training in molecular methods, biosafety measures and diagnostic epidemiology during a recent two-day workshop here, led by the National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense.
The workshop trained nine diagnosticians and technicians from the Kazakhstan Veterinary Reference Laboratory, as well as five territorial inspectors from the republic’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The FAZD Center and the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, headquartered in College Station, participated in the event in partnership with the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service through its Scientific Exchange Fellowship program.
Two FAZD Center research fellows from Kazakhstan led the workshop. Dr. Kalamkas Shampieva, head of depository collections of microorganisms at Kazakhstan’s National Veterinary Reference Center, presented the epidemiological section. Dr. Samat Tyulegenov, assistant manager of molecular genetics at the National Veterinary Reference Center, presented the section on diagnostic detection.
Their presentations focused on brucellosis, a contagious disease that can affect cattle, goats, sheep, and swine as well as humans. Brucellosis is considered to be a high priority disease in Kazakhstan.
In late 2011, Shampieva and Tyulegenov spent 12 weeks in the United States receiving training at Texas A&M University. Shampieva worked with FAZD Center epidemiologists while Tyulegenov studied diagnostic detection at TVMDL.
Dr. Heather Simmons, theme leader for education and outreach, and Dr. Alfonso Clavijo, co-theme leader for biological systems, represented the FAZD Center at the workshop. Clavijo also represented TVMDL as its associate director for scientific programs.
During their visit, Simmons and Clavijo met with the chief veterinary officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, the director of the World Veterinary Reference Center, the director of the General Republic Laboratory, and the deputy chair of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Committee for Veterinary Surveillance and Control.
Located in central Asia, Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country at 1.49 million square miles and covers an area larger than all of Western Europe. Agriculture generates 5.82 percent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product. Its leading livestock products are dairy goods, leather, meat and wool.