Latest Molecular diagnosis of Viral Diseases in animals

Pashu Sandesh, 08 Feb 2024

Poonam Shakya1, Joycee Jogi1   and Rakhi Gangil2 

1Associate Professor, NDVSU Jabalpur

2Assistant Professor, NDVSU Jabalpur 

The last few years have seen significant advancements in molecular diagnosis of viral diseases in animals, offering more rapid, accurate, and sensitive methods for detecting and identifying viral pathogens. These techniques play a crucial role in veterinary medicine, enabling early diagnosis, surveillance, and control of viral diseases in animals. Some of the latest molecular diagnostic methods for viral diseases in animals include:

1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Real-time PCR (qPCR): PCR-based methods remain the gold standard for molecular diagnosis of viral diseases in animals. Real-time PCR, in particular, allows for the rapid detection and quantification of viral nucleic acids in clinical samples. This technique offers high sensitivity and specificity, making it suitable for diagnosing a wide range of viral pathogens, including canine parvovirus, feline leukaemia virus, and avian influenza virus.

2. Next-generation Sequencing (NGS): NGS technologies, such as whole-genome sequencing and metagenomic sequencing, have revolutionized the field of viral diagnostics. These techniques enable the simultaneous detection and characterization of multiple viral pathogens in a single sample, providing valuable insights into viral persity, evolution, and transmission dynamics. NGS has been used to study emerging viral animal diseases, including swine influenza and avian coronavirus infections.

3. Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP): LAMP is a rapid and cost-effective molecular diagnostic method that amplifies target nucleic acids under isothermal conditions. This technique has been successfully applied for the detection of various animal viral pathogens, including foot-and-mouth disease virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, and bovine viral diarrhoea virus. LAMP assays offer advantages such as simplicity, speed, and robustness, making them suitable for use in resource-limited settings.

4. Digital PCR (dPCR): dPCR is a novel technique that allows for the absolute quantification of nucleic acids in a sample without the need for standard curves. This method partitions the sample into thousands of inpidual reactions, enabling precise quantification of viral targets with high sensitivity and reproducibility. dPCR has been used for viral load quantification in animals infected with viruses such as bovine leukaemia virus and porcine circovirus.

5. CRISPR-based Diagnostics: CRISPR-based diagnostic technologies, such as SHERLOCK (Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter UnLOCKing) and DETECTR (DNA Endonuclease-Targeted CRISPR Trans Reporter), have emerged as promising tools for rapid and sensitive detection of viral pathogens. These techniques utilize the CRISPR-Cas system to target and cleave specific viral nucleic acid sequences, followed by detection using fluorescence or lateral flow assays. CRISPR-based diagnostics offer potential for point-of-care testing and field surveillance of viral diseases in animals.

These latest molecular diagnostic methods for animal viral diseases offer unprecedented capabilities for rapid and accurate detection, characterization, and monitoring of viral pathogens. Continued research and innovation in this field hold the promise of further advancements, ultimately contributing to improved animal health, welfare, and disease management strategies.