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October 17 2021 5:52 AM ˚

Jordan part of international study of diseases spread by migratory birds

1. Jordan Study
(Photo: Royal Scientific Society)
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AMMAN  — Jordan is participating in a multinational effort to understand and control the spread of disease among migratory birds. Dubbed the Avian Zoonotic Disease Network (AZDN), it is aimed at detecting dangerous infectious diseases and pathogens of “pandemic potential”, such as avian flu, according to a press statement by the Royal Scientific Society (RSS).اضافة اعلان

Dr Nisreen Daif Allah Al-Hmoud, director of the Biosafety and Biosecurity Centre at the RSS, said in a statement Sunday that the network aims to meet the challenges of detecting particularly dangerous infectious diseases and pathogens of pandemic potential.

Hmoud said that the network will be proactive in developing on-the-ground strategies and bio-surveillance techniques. This includes investigating the prevalence of pathogens in migratory birds, examining host and environmental determinants of infections, and implementing protocols across Jordan, Georgia, Ukraine, and the US.

She said that the AZDN brings together a multidisciplinary team of scientists in bioinformatics, veterinary viruses, molecular biology and epidemiology, statisticians, ornithologists and disease ecologists from the RSS’ Biosafety and Biosecurity Centre in Jordan, the National Center for Disease Control in Georgia, the National Scientific Center Institute for Experimental and Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Ukraine, as well as US institutions that include: Michigan State University, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and CRDF Global. 

Funded by a research grant from the US Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, the AZDN will be focusing its efforts on what is known as the Mediterranean and Black Sea “flyway”, which is the main migration route for birds between Africa and Europe.

In this respect, Hmoud said that cooperative threat-reduction networks such as the AZDN are critical for meeting the challenges of detecting dangerous infectious diseases and pathogens of pandemic potential.

Through these cooperative networks, countries will have the ability to strengthen their diagnostics capabilities with sequencing technologies and bioinformatics that can also be used to better understand the ecology of emerging diseases.

It is worth noting that the RSS Center for Biosafety and Biosecurity is a unique platform for conducting studies and research projects related to the preservation of human health and the environment.

The center has much expertise in the areas of microbiology, viruses, molecular biology, health and environmental safety, risk assessment, and management. 

The center also provides specialized laboratory testing services for different types of samples, and focuses on technology transfer, education, training and capacity-building for local and regional institutions.

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