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Published On: Sun, Jun 20th, 2010

Veterinary Medicine professor suspended for unauthorized Brucella research

A University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine professor has had his laboratory and research privileges revoked for 5 years for unauthorized research conducted in his laboratory.

According to a story in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Gary Splitter, a 32 year faculty member with the school either knew of, or participated in restricted research encoding antibiotic-resistant genes into the bacterium, Brucella melitensis.

The federal government considers B. melitensis a serious threat to human and animal health.

The research was done without university or government approval. The bacterium was being encoded with antibiotic-resistant markers for the antibiotics, spectinomycin and trimethoprim.

According to Dr. William Mellon, associate dean for research policy at the university, the concern was not over biosecurity but biosafety. “If someone acquires a laboratory infection, if that happens with a recombinant agent with an antibiotic resistance, you compromise treatment options. For us, that’s pretty serious, especially with select agents.”

The university has to pay a $40,000 fine to the Department of Health and Human Services to settle the violation to the select agents regulations.

Dr. Splitter can continue teaching and participate in research in very limited ways.

For more on Brucella

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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