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, and with funding generously provided by AKC CHF, we have developed a comprehensive assay containing 488 primer sets for pathogen detection by NGS. We will perform a feasibility study using previously tested positive and negative clinical samples from dogs with signs consistent with vector-borne disease and using another sample set that will be tested by the newly designed targeted NGS method and compared to testing with other methods used in a different lab. We will also do some initial sensitivity and specificity testing using known concentrations of the pathogen targets.