We proposed to develop a comprehensive method for detection of infectious diseases of dogs, taking the guesswork out of determining which tests to use for diagnosis, and potentially improving disease surveillance because of the comprehensive nature of the test.
This method takes advantage of the amount of data that can be generated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) but will be performed in a way to keep costs down and maintain adequate turn-around time for diagnostic use. We proposed a combined PCR/NGS method called targeted NGS. With funding generously provided by AKC CHF, we will build on this assay, which was originally begun with internal funding from a university, by including additional targets, particularly for vector-borne pathogens. To date, we have found regions in the sequences of these vector-borne pathogens that can be used for assay development. The development work is complete and these targets have been added to our assay, which now includes 488 primer sets for detection of pathogens of both dogs and cats. We are now starting testing with type/validated samples of vector-borne pathogens and clinical samples from dogs with diagnosed vector-borne diseases to determine how well the assay works. We have hired a postdoc with grant funds to help with the bench work required for the study. We are very grateful for the support to do this work.