Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Information on the genetic heterogeneity of the European SRLV-s

Currently, the detection of specific antibodies (serology) is used to detect individuals that harbour persistent Small Ruminant Lentivirus infections (SRLV). However, some animals fail to produce such antibodies and thus escape detection. This project aims to develop a test (PCR) that detects the genetic material of the virus instead of antibodies against it. The SRLVs in Europe and other parts of the world are known for their genetic heterogeneity. European tests that detect the virus’ genetic material must therefore encompass this heterogeneity. We studied a part of the viral genome of a number of European strains in order to identify homogenous sites that can serve as a uniform target for a PCR-test, i.e. the potential primer/probe sites. Results were combined with the limited genetic information that already existed in the literature; 3 different primer/probe combinations with the potential for encompassing the heterogeneity could be established, leading to 3 of the prototype tests.

Before this project, some of the RTD-partners had already developed SRLV-PCR tests on a local basis. The European potential of these tests was evaluated by exchanging small sets of - blinded- local samples between these partners. It appeared that three of these local tests which target different parts of the viral genome happened to have the potential of encompassing the European SRLV genetic heterogeneity. The consortium decided to also include these 3 tests in the set of prototype tests, leading to a total of 6 prototype tests. Early February 2003, the consortium decided on the exact nature of the 6 prototype tests that have been produced by one of the SME-partners and whose performance on European sheep/goat blood samples has been compared in each RTD laboratory using the specially collected local sample banks.

Reported by

University of Utrecht
3508 Utrecht
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