Australia’s poultry producers now have access to a growing suite of cost-effective rapid diagnostic tests for poultry diseases.
Twenty tests are currently available through The University of Melbourne’s Asia Pacific Centre for Animal Health (APCAH), with several more in development. The tests are the result of a current Poultry CRC project aiming to provide fast and cost-effective world-class diagnostic services for the industry, including overnight diagnosis and strain identification for the major poultry diseases in Australia, such as infectious bronchitis virus, infectious laryngotracheitis, coccidiosis and chicken infectious anaemia virus.
As reported in an earlier issue of eChook, the industry has been very happy with the vastly improved turn-around time for test results as well as the increased level of understanding these tests now give us thanks to improved strain differentiation techniques.
For example, two of the tests can help producers tackle Coccidiosis, a significant disease of poultry caused by different species of the pathogenic parasite Eimeria. It is possible to distinguish between the seven species of Eimeria by examining differences in the DNA of each species. High resolution melting (HRM) curve analysis generates a graph illustrating these differences (see graph). These DNA tests are rapid and reliable and can usually be performed in less than 3 hours.