DPRI Activity

of the Independent Non-Profit Organization
“Diagnostic and Prevention Research Institute for Human and Animal Diseases” (DPRI)

Taking into consideration the fact that the humanity permanently faces epidemiologic problems that threaten to cause food safety on a global scale, prevention of this type of risks takes on paramount importance. Therefore, diagnostics and prophylaxis of economically significant infectious diseases are capable of becoming a major screening force against their spreading among agricultural, domestic and wild animals. It was specifically for this purpose that DPRI was founded in 2007 to bring together the country’s leading experts on human medicine, veterinary medicine, infectious pathology, immunology and molecular biology as applied to both animals and man.

DPRI offers services and conducts research in the domains of veterinary medicine, public health, science and education, including development and implementation of diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic tools against viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases in animals and man. An effective scientific organisation equipped with state of the art scientific and technical resources carries out research in a whole host of directions in the areas of microbiology, cell and genetic engineering, molecular biology and biotechnology. This ensures delineation of scientifically substantiated approaches to developing new highly efficient medicines and diagnostic kits.

The chief directions of scientific research at DPRI are:
• Solving fundamental and immediate problems impairing the development of the national agricultural complex as a whole and more particularly animal breeding. More specifically of importance would be 1) development of commercially viable scientific and technological products; 2) ensuring veterinary security with regard to highly dangerous, widely spread and economically important infectious and invasive diseases; 3) protection of the nation from diseases common for animals and man; 4) ensuring sanitary security of products of animal breeding.
• R&D in the area of veterinary medicine aimed at designing innovatory diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic tools and perfecting the existing ones, as well as methods of the control, standardization and certification thereof.
• Conducting diagnostic research.
• Training programs for staff and courses for veterinary specialists of the Russian Federation on contemporary methods of laboratory diagnosing.
The immediate outcome of this activity was that the 11 diagnostic test systems (based on ELISA and PCR techniques) used in diagnosing the most dangerous and widely spread diseases in pigs and cattle (including African and classical swine fever, rabies, bovine leucosis, influenza, brucellosis etc.) have been developed and are widely practiced both at farms and in veterinary laboratories.

10 vaccines, now implemented in the country’s veterinary practice have been developed at DPRI, among which is the first subunit recombinant vaccine to be developed in Russia against circovirus infection in swine, the first vaccine against epizootic diarrhoea in pigs to be developed in Russia as well as a complex of polyvalent vaccines against the most widely spread respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases in pigs (including post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome in piglets), cattle and small domestic animals. As a result of collaboration with the world’s leading specialists, two monovalent vaccines against rabies in dogs and cats have been designed with recourse to an innovatory adjuvant obtained using nanobiotechnology.

Most of the products designed have been protected by Russian Patents (9 patents have been obtained and 5 are pending). Researchers and experts at DPRI have been intensely involved in tackling the most currently challenging problems related to the eradication of animal and avian infectious diseases, sometimes in the course of collaboration with the country’s veterinary service. The Institute has worked in this direction as part of the Government contracts for bovine hypodermatosis and swine flu. More recently, the Institute took part in the delineation and approval of the Federal Special-Purpose Programme for Eradication of African swine fever in Russian Federation for 2010-2015 as well as in the delineation of proposals regarding the legislative, administrative and normative basis for eradication of African swine fever. Proposals have been submitted to the National coordination programme for the development of biotechnologies in Russian Federation from the present time up to the year 2020.

A diagnostic laboratory is functioning as part of DPRI, where complex functional diagnostics of most infectious and parasitic diseases in animals is carried out. Classical methods are used alongside highly innovatory assays. Currently used are: virus neutralization (VN), fluorescent antibody virus neutralisation (FAVN), agglutination (HI), microagglutination (MAT), immunofluorescence (IFA), several varieties of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as well as immunochromatographic express assay. Over 70 certified highly sensitive and highly specific test-systems are used, which allows to identify causative agents or antibodies thereto of infectious diseases occurring in cattle, pigs, small domestic animals and birds. Apart from this, at the DPRI are developed and put to use assays for diagnosing diseases common for animals and man such as anthrax, brucellosis, tuberculosis, leptospirosis, flu etc. Another important field of concern is assessment of security of products of animal breeding (food safety). Highly qualified staff and state of the art equipment conforming to worldwide standards allows to carry out tests to a professional, contemporary standard, ensuring fidelity of data and capable of ensuring dependable expert evaluation of products of animal breeding.

DPRI is also profoundly involved in international scientific and technological activity, namely by delineating internationally applicable projects by the International Science and Technology Centre (ISTC) and U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation (CDRF) regarding the development of tools of diagnosing and epidemiologic surveillance of classical swine fever, porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome, prion diseases in man and animals, influenza type A etc. The Institute takes part in organizing national and international symposia, conferences and congresses centring around infectious pathology of man and animals and closely collaborates with the world’s leading authorities on veterinary medicine and biotechnology from the USA and Western Europe, as well as leading manufacturers of state of the art biological preparations. Inter alia, two international conferences were organized focusing on African swine fever in Moscow and Krasnodar with the participation of leading experts from overseas.

DPRI closely collaborates with World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Reference Centres and OIE laboratories regarding problems related to African and classical swine fever, rabies, viral diarrhoea and flu, as well as with leading Universities and scientific centres all over the globe.

Under the supervision of DPRI a reference centre has been created for diagnosing rabies using FAVN, certified by the OIE Nancy Laboratory for Rabies and Wildlife ANSES (France).
The Federal Intellectual Property office listed 3 of the patents registered by DPRI in ‘100 best inventions in Russia’ as of 2010 and were awarded accordingly.