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Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

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Molecular Diagnostics at KSVDL

By Dr. Jianfa Bai

The Molecular Diagnostic Lab at KSVDL develops molecular diagnostic assays (primarily polymerase chain reaction or PCR) and provides diagnostic services for the detection of animal, zoonotic, and foodborne pathogens.  

The PCR assays amplify a small piece of pathogen specific nucleic acid (RNA or DNA).  Most of KSVDL’s PCR assays use real-time PCR technology.  This technology results in the quantification of the pathogen load in the original sample.  The results are reported as CT values, called threshold cycle.  The LOWER the CT value, the higher the concentration of pathogens that were present in the original submitted sample. The CT values can be helpful for field diagnostics.  For example, analyzing the CT values can help discern vaccine associated organism load from field exposure associated pathogen load for several diseases including bovine respiratory disease.

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at KSVDL has been busy developing PCR test-panels.  Test-panels are a set of test assays that look for multiple specific For example, KSVDL’s latest panel that is under development is a bovine enteric panel.  This panel will include K99 E. coli, Rota virus, Corona virus, Cryptosporidia, and Salmonella sp.  Panels such as the enteric panel decrease turnaround time and help reduce overall test costs. 

Stay tuned for more information on new tests as they become available!!!

Jianfa Bai, MS, PhD, is the Director of Molecular Research and Development at KSVDL.



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