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Vector-borne disease diagnostics: From "ruff" to "purrfect"



Pedro P. Diniz, DVM, PhD


To be available for viewing On Demand

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


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



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