Application of Molecular Techniques in Animal Disease Diagnosis in Developing Countries


To assist national veterinary laboratories develop and apply molecular-based technologies for diagnosing major livestock diseases and improving the effectiveness of national and international control and eradication campaigns.


Research centres on the use of a radioisotope-based technology, the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), for detecting evidence for disease agents in field samples through measurement of specific nucleic acid sequences. The Contract holders will study rinderpest, Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and/or Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP) all of which are important diseases affecting livestock. The work involves setting up laboratories in which PCR techniques can be performed, since the exquisite sensitivity of the test is affected by low levels of contamination; examination of existing primer sets against the respective disease agents for application to locally obtained samples; devising successful methods which can be applied to local conditions; production of sets of primers to allow differential diagnosis of vesicular disease agents and standardizing tests (including writing up protocols) for wider dissemination to personnel in other laboratories in different regions. The CRP will therefore provide guidelines as to the feasibility of implementing this modern biotechnology. The CRP will also concentrate on comparing results obtained by the PCR with other conventional serologically based assays used for diagnosis and differentiation. The high potential sensitivity and specificity inherent in the method may make it the test, which is the gold standard in the next few years.


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  • Report of the First RCM, Vienna, Austria, 1997.
  • Summary Report on the Second RCM, South Africa, 17-21 May, 1999. [Download pdf]
  • Summary Report of the Third RCM, Vienna, Austria, 22-25 October 2001.[Download pdf]

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