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Molecular approaches to diagnosis


Our internationally recognised team of molecular diagnosticians and researchers cover numerous aquatic animal health topic areas. We are currently seeking "flexible scope" ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for the confirmation of a wide range of fish, molluscs and crustacean pathogens including:

  • viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS)
  • infectious salmon anaemia (ISA)
  • koi herpesvirus (KHV)
  • Marteilia refringens
  • Bonamia ostreae
  • Taura syndrome virus
  • white spot syndrome virus (WSSV)
  • yellowhead virus.

As partners in the BioChip project consortium, our team have been developing assays to produce a DNA array that will help to detect more than 600 viruses affecting humans, animals, plants, fish and bees.

We have also generated a more specific array aimed at the detection and identification of viruses found in fish, molluscs and crutaceans. The whole process - from nucleic acid extraction to pathogen identification using the DNA array - takes less than two days. This is much quicker than traditional culture methods of virus testing, which can take as long as seven to ten days. Our approach also has an advantage over pathogen-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approaches, as we screen for a wider range of viral pathogens in a single test. 

Our Weymouth laboratory is fully equipped to undertake automated nucleic acid extraction, real-time and traditional PCR-based assays and sequence analysis. The laboratory also has the capacity to undertake pathogen detection using micro-array technologies and pathogen labelling using in situ hybridisation.

For more about our molecular approaches to disagnosing animal diseases contact david.stone@cefas.co.uk.

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Last Modified: 27 April 2014