NICEATM Announces "International Workshop on Alternative Methods for Leptospira Vaccine Potency Testing: State of the Science and the Way Forward" September 19-21, 2012
The National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of
Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) announces an "International
Workshop on Alternative Methods for Leptospira Vaccine Potency Testing:
State of the Science and the Way Forward" on September 19-21, 2012. The
workshop will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for
Veterinary Biologics at the National Centers for Animal Health in Ames,
Iowa. NICEATM is organizing the workshop in collaboration with the
Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative
Methods (ICCVAM) and partner organizations in the International
Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods.
This workshop will bring together international scientific experts from
government, industry, and academia to review recent advances in science
and technology, in addition to available methods and approaches for
Leptospira vaccine potency testing. NICEATM and ICCVAM also invite the
submission of abstracts for scientific poster presentations on current
research, development, and validation of alternative methods for
Leptospira vaccine potency testing.
Individuals planning to present posters at the workshop are reminded that
abstracts should be submitted by August 13, 2012. Abstract submission
guidelines are available on the workshop webpage.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease caused by spirochetes of the
genus Leptospira. An estimated 500,000 human cases of leptospirosis occur
worldwide each year with a fatality rate of up to 25% in some regions.
Designated as a Neglected Tropical Disease by the U.S. National Institutes
of Health and a Neglected Zoonotic Disease by the World Health
Organization, leptospirosis is a global public health priority.
In the United States and other countries, Leptospira vaccines are used in
cattle, swine, and dogs to protect them from disease and to reduce the
risk of animal-to-human transmission. Human vaccines are also available in
some countries outside the United States. Manufacturers test the potency
of vaccine lots prior to their release to ensure their effectiveness.
However, methods currently used to test the potency of Leptospira vaccines
involve large numbers of laboratory animals that experience significant
pain and distress, accounting for over one third of the animals reported
to the USDA in this category. Accordingly, NICEATM, ICCVAM, and their
international partners recently identified Leptospira vaccines as one of
their top three priorities for development, validation, and implementation
of improved alternatives.
About the Workshop
The upcoming workshop, the second in a series of specialized vaccine
workshops presented by NICEATM and ICCVAM, will review recent advances and
innovations in science and technology that can be applied to Leptospira
vaccine potency testing. The goal is to promote development of innovative
testing methods and approaches that may provide improved accuracy,
efficiency, and worker safety and that are more humane and use fewer or no
animals. The workshop will also address global acceptance and
implementation of scientifically valid alternative methods.
The workshop is open to the public at no charge with attendance limited
only by the available space. Registration information and a draft workshop
agenda are now available on the NICEATM-ICCVAM website.
If you are planning to attend the workshop, you must preregister by
September 7, 2012; walk-in registration on the day of the workshop will
not be available.
If you have questions about the workshop or would like more information,
please contact NICEATM.