Poultry vets helping CRC develop rapid diagnostic tests

Australia’s leading poultry vets are helping the CRC develop its suite of affordable and fast DNA-based tests for poultry diseases. The number of CRC-developed rapid diagnostic tests is growing steadily, giving poultry producers around the country access to cutting-edge biotechnology and useful results in hours rather than days.

“The PCR-based tests developed by the CRC give the benefit of both speed and typing,” explained poultry veterinarian, Ben Wells, “without the need for expensive and time-consuming culturing, as was often required before this service was available.”

“This typing was invaluable in stamping out an outbreak of ILT we had recently, as it allowed quick confirmation and identification of the appropriate vaccine. It also allowed us to track where the outbreak virus was moving.”

“We also use the CRC’s PCR service to diagnose IB outbreaks. We have INB viruses that are not related to the traditional and present differently in the field. We can get a diagnosis and typing by simply posting down air dried swabs in an envelope and getting a typed result within 24 hours.”

“Their PCR has also enabled us to investigate an IBH problem and show it is a different strain and not a vaccination failure as first thought. We are continuing to investigate this problem using PCR.”

“And we are most excited to be working with the Melbourne group in identifying and characterising an Avian Nephritis virus which was not previously thought to be present in broilers,” Ben said.

Poultry CRC Project Leader, The University of Melbourne’s Amir Noormohammadi, is working with Ben and other poultry vets to develop tests for more diseases, including the Avian Nephritis virus.

“The more tests we do, the more understanding we gain, which is good for the entire industry,” said Amir. “The tests are still evolving and we’re still learning, but we love the challenge.”

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