SHIC Issues Call for Improved Oral Fluids PCR Sensitivity Proposals

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Farmscape for August 18, 2020

Full Interview 9:39 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center has issued a call for proposals for improved oral fluids PCR sensitivity. The Swine Health Information Center is accepting research proposals until August 25th aimed at improved oral fluids PCR sensitivity. Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the genesis of this was a question about being able to use oral fluids for African Swine Fever monitoring and surveillance.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
CFIA in Winnipeg and USDA on Plum Island have both done experiments with African Swine fever in which they’ve infected one pig in pen of 25 and followed that pen through the infection using oral fluids and using whole blood samples to try to get an idea of the timeliness of being able to use oral fluids. One of the things they found is that very often the oral fluids will be positive with ASF when the pigs become infected and that’s a good thing so they have a lot of confidence in a positive result if they get that.

The thing that they question though is the sensitivity of the test itself. There is some question about being able to detect ASF in that first infected pig. Even though it may be shedding, it may be viremic and that oral fluid may still be negative. So one of the things that we want to do is see if we can increase the sensitivity of the PCR test for detection. The reason it may be negative with when you look at oral fluids with that very early infection, we think, is that there may be a dilution factor with the oral fluids from the other pigs that are not infected. That would mean that the number of viruses in the collective sample would be very low and it may be lower than the detection limit.

Dr. Sundberg notes full details on the call for proposals can be accessed at swinehealth.org.

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