Developing a Next Generation Sequencing Diagnostic Platform for Tick-Borne Diseases

Diagnostic tests based on the detection of DNA from harmful organisms in clinical samples have revolutionized veterinary medicine in the last decades. Currently, diagnostic panels for several vector-borne organisms are available through universities and private labs in the USA and abroad. However, the vast majority of results from sick dogs are negative, which frustrates veterinarians and dog owners trying to reach a definitive diagnosis. These panels are based on the detection of previously known DNA sequences of each pathogen, which limits their ability to detect novel organisms. In this study, the investigators will adapt high-throughput nextgeneration sequencing (NGS) to the detection of tick-borne bacteria in dog blood in an effort to overcome the limitations of current diagnostics for tick-borne diseases. If successful, increasing the capabilities of NGS to detect infected dogs and to accurately determine which bacteria are responsible for disease will support the development of a better diagnostic tool to simultaneously advance canine and human health. This work expands on Dr. Diniz’s previous CHF-funded study #02292.

Co-sponsored with the AKC Canine Health Foundation, Grant Number: 02528

Pedro Diniz, DVM, PhD; Western University of Health Sciences
Amount: $5,000