Veterinary Molecular Diagnostics

Roest, H.I.J.; Engelsma, M.Y.; Weesendorp, E.; Bossers, A.; Elbers, A.R.W.


In veterinary molecular diagnostics, samples originating from animals are tested. Developments in the farm animals sector and in our societal attitude towards pet animals have resulted in an increased demand for fast and reliable diagnostic techniques. Molecular diagnostics perfectly matches this increased demand. Veterinary molecular diagnostics primarily focuses on the detection, identification, and genotyping of pathogens. Techniques are comparable to those used in the human molecular diagnostic field. In veterinary diagnosis, these techniques are applied to either the diagnosis of diseases in individual animals and herds or to assess the disease status of a herd. Notable features of veterinary molecular diagnostics are the sampling of a diagnostic unit for herd diagnoses, which can compensate test characteristics and, to a lesser extent, the high RNA/DNA loads in cases of animal disease outbreaks. To further identify bacteria, numerous genotyping techniques are used, including whole genome sequencing (WGS). To characterise viruses, WGS is the method of choice. The applications of molecular techniques in molecular diagnostics and molecular epidemiology are presented in two case studies: Q fever and the highly pathogenic avian influenza