Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) has more than 360 employees, approximately half live in CT and the other half in NY.
PIADC has Biosafety Level 2, Biosafety Level 3 and Biosafety Level 3Ag laboratory facilities.
PIADC studies disease of importance to livestock health. The primary disease on which research and vaccine development is conducted is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). FMD is a highly contagious disease of domestic and wild cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, swine, sheep, goats, deer and buffalo. The disease causes vesicular lesions on the tongue, feet and teats, and has severe adverse impact on animal production and productivity. Mortality is low except in young animals. FMD is a reportable disease and countries in which the disease is present cannot trade susceptible animals or their products with FMD-free countries. Therefore, FMD has a significant economic impact on affected countries, especially those that have investment in export of agricultural products. FMD is composed of seven serotypes and multiple subtypes within each serotype. Humans cannot be infected with FMD, but they can act as mechanical carriers for the virus. FMD is considered a foreign animal disease to the U.S. because it does not occur in this country. The last outbreak in the U.S. was 1929. However, FMD is globally recognized as being a “transboundary” disease with regional and global impact because of its relationship to the development of international trade in animals and animal products and the movement of people worldwide.