Next generation sample preparation, high-throughput PCR and analytical techniques for the identification and characterization of pathogens using novel, customized microfluidic and detection platforms
The goal of this project is to develop a diagnostic platform with groundbreaking methods for sample preparation, detection and analysis of viruses and bacteria in animals and foodstuff.
The platform consist of three modules. The first concerns sample preparation with advanced acoustophoretic methods, which will divide the samples in fractions, for example fractions with purified virus. The fractions are transferred to the second module for amplification/tagging. In this module the sample is further divided into a very large number of separate picoliter droplets, which enables the analysis of separate virus particles or genome copies. The amplification will mainly be achieved by means of PCR or rolling circle amplification in separate picoliter volumes. The third modules concerns the detection of viruses, bacteria, certain strains or sequence variants after the amplification in module two, with solid state or suspension microarrays.
We aim to develop a model system with microarrays which will detect about 40 different viruses and bacteria that cause disease in fowl. The detected pathogens will also be subtyped and pathotyped. This is particularly important for avian influenza viruses which exist in subtypes that may not cause any clinical signs in wild birds but give fatal disease in domestic bird, which may eradicating whole flocks. This initial platform will serve as a model for the development of further platforms for diagnosis of disease in other relevant animals.