Kakambi Nagaraja Awarded USDA NIFA AFRI Grant

March 1, 2015

Dr. Kakambi Nagaraja, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department, has been awarded a grant from the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Animal Health and Disease Program. Dr. Nagaraja will use his award to study clostridial dermatitis, a disease of economic concern in turkeys. Part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI is is the nation’s premier peer-reviewed competitive grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. Dr. Nagaraja's proposal ranked #2 out of 76 research proposals; the panel placed it in the "outstanding" category.

Clostridial dermatitis is an emerging condition in turkeys and broiler chickens in the U.S. According to the Poultry Site, around 40 percent of turkey farms report some issues. Birds succumbing to the infection have necrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, usually involving the breast, abdomen, wing, or thigh, and die quickly after being infected. Controlling clostridial dermatitis is difficult because managing the growth of clostridia is challenging, especially during the birds’ growth phase.