VECTOR-BORNE DISEASE DIAGNOSTICS: FROM "RUFF" TO "PURRFECT"

04/27/2021
Pedro P. Diniz, DVM, PhD

Worldwide, diseases that are transmitted by ticks and fleas to companion animals continue to expand in frequency and geographic distribution. While a positive test result for a vector-borne disease greatly helps the clinician in providing appropriate care, a negative test result always introduces extra challenges. Nowadays, serology and PCR are well-established methods used to diagnose vector-borne diseases (VBDs), but certain limitations of these assays impact the detection of pathogens and our ability to make a correct diagnosis.

The massively parallel sequencing technology known as next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized biological sciences. It has become a key tool in detecting and characterizing infectious diseases in humans, such as the SARS-Cov2 virus. NGS is soon to become an important tool in veterinary medicine as well.

The focus of this presentation is vector-borne disease (VBD) diagnosis and the discussion will include:

  • What is working well and what needs to be improved in VBD diagnostics

  • The “sample-volume paradox” of PCR assays and current efforts to address it

  • How next-generation sequencing works, its advantages and limitations for VBD detection

  • Best practices when interpreting serology and PCR results for VBDs


Original publication date: April 27, 2021
Speaker: Pedro P. Diniz, DVM, PhD


Watch on Demand

Learn more about Dr. Diniz’s CHF-funded research:
02528: Developing a Next Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Platform for Tickborne Diseases
2292: Broad-Range Detection of Canine Tick-Borne Disease and Improved Diagnostics Using Next-Generation Sequencing

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