Lateral flow molecular assay for horse strangles
This proposal seeks to develop a simple, and sensitive molecular diagnostic assay for the detection of Streptococcus equi; the causative agent of strangles. Outbreaks of this disease at racetracks and training establishments caused major disruptions, and economic losses to owners, and trainers in the United States in recent years. The control of the spread of strangles relies on a combination of diagnostics, quarantine, vaccination, and in some cases on antibiotic therapy. A diagnostic test is needed to help veterinarians identify convalescent animals that are still infectious after clinical recovery because up to 10% of affected animals continue to shed Streptococcus equi sporadically for prolonged periods, after clinical signs have resolved. The ``gold standard'' for the detection of S. equi is culture of nasal swabs and washes. However, as nasal wash specimens often contain other beta hemolytic streptococci, like Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a diagnostic test must
be highly specific. Molecular testing is highly specific. In addition, the assay proposed is easier to implement than other molecular testing technologies because it does not require costly instrumentation.
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S. Director of Technology Development
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