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Workpackage 2 'Nucleic acid array development & pathogen sequencing' will develop a microarray-based platform for the detection of known and unknown microbial pathogens (viral, bacterial, parasitic, and other) in a variety of samples and validate the arrays using in vitro preparations and samples of known infection status. Novel pathogens will be further characterised by sequence analysis.
Workpackage 3 'Serological array development' involves existing peptide-based ELISA (miniaturised) serological assays being adapted to an array format for the detection of known and unknown microbial pathogens (viral, bacterial, parasitic, and fungal). Novel whole antigen, peptide-based and recombinant antibody-based assays will be developed into formats suitable for high-performance and high-throughput tests. The arrays will be validated using samples of verified infection status.
As part of our QA, we will monitor progress in alternative technologies such Mass Spectrometry and Plasmon Resonance with respect to their relevance for serological diagnosis.
An important component of the project is the establishment of Technology Transfer Workshops to provide all the Partners and Associate Partners with training in the diagnostic developments technologies and data analysis systems used within the consortium.
The WildTech Technology Centre is responsible for the development of the array screening technologies and this is driven by the University of Nottingham (nucleic acid arrays) and by the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (serology arrays). Expertise in this complex area is also provided by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), the Institute for Animal Health, the Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen University and Research Centre, and Clondiag.