Genomic Sequencing Revolutionises Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Disease in Animals

Farmscape for November 24, 2023

Full Interview 27:51 Listen

The Chief Scientific Officer with Prairie Diagnostic Services suggests, although still in its infancy, genomics is revolutionising the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in animals. Genomic sequencing is increasingly being used to decipher the genetic coding of living organisms. Dr. Anatoliy Trokhymchuk, the Chief Scientific Officer with Prairie Diagnostic Services, says we learned during the pandemic the limitations of PCR testing to characterize infectious diseases.

Quote-Dr. Anatoliy Trokhymchuk-Prairie Diagnostic Services:
The limitation of a PRC, it’s like fishing with a fishing rod. There is one question and the answer is yes or no.
You cast that hook and try to catch something. Genomics is a very different type of a strategy. You basically cast a really broad net and you can get all the genomic information out of a sample and that’s only possible to do with genomics. We are actually sequencing these bugs and we are getting a whole new level of information that allows us to be more efficient and to be able to see if this vaccine would work for this bug, if this bug is going to respond to this treatment and where this bug is coming from.

Coming to the poultry industry for example or for the swine industry, we have these huge vertically integrated systems where all the animals are coming from a single source and it’s very important to keep that single source clean. So, one of the huge advantages of genomics is if there is a problem in a poultry barn or a pig barn we can tell where this bug is coming from and is it coming from the source of these animals or was it introduced from some other entry point.
So, genomic epidemiology becomes a critical tool. We all witnessed that during the pandemic but now the same tools are applied for animal health pretty much routinely.

Dr. Trokhymchuk suggests, as the use of artificial intelligence to process the vast volumes of information obtained through genomic sequencing evolves, its value as a diagnostic tool will increase.

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