Double Capture Amplification System for Bacterial Pathogen Detection in
Bacterial pathogens in salmonids, such as Renibacterium salmoninarum and Aeromonas salmonicida, are
difficult to identify by conventional diagnosis due to their extremely slow growth and the absence of an
efficient selective medium. Diseases caused by these pathogens represent a serious problem both in the
fishing industry and for conservation efforts. While several PCR-based assays appear to be useful, they are
generally complex laboratory procedures and not suitable for large scale screening. We have proposed to
develop a novel screening method, the Â¿Double Capture Amplification SystemÂ¿ (DCAS), to detect R.
salmoninarum in salmonids. This procedure combines several powerful molecular biology tools in an
innovative manner to develop a rapid, non-lethal, highly sensitive assay kit. Our Phase 1 research has
demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed assay and initiated development of the prototype diagnostic kit.
The major goals for the second phase of this project are to adapt, and optimize the assay for the detection
of Renibacterium salmoninarum in various tissues in fish, determine the sensitivity and specificity of the
assay, and begin production and quality control testing of the survey kits. In addition, we will initiate
studies for the adaptation of DCAS to other organisms such as Aeromonas salmonicida.
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