Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2005

The molecular diagnosis of porcine viral diseases: A review

Belak, S


The worldwide occurrence and re-occurrence of transboundary diseases like foot-and-mouth disease or classical swine fever indicates that there is a high need for the development of powerful, robust and high-capacity new diagnostic methods, which are able to detect the causative agents before they could spread to large populations and cause tremendous losses. This article reports the experiences of a research group on the development of molecular methods for the improved diagnosis of a range of porcine viral diseases, including diseases on List A of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE). Nucleic acid hybridisation and various polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays have been applied for routine diagnosis of a large range of viral diseases. During the last one-and-a-half decade more than 40 nested PCR assays have been developed to detect a variety of DNA and RNA viruses. False positive and negative results are avoided by the use of special tools, practices and internal controls of amplification (mimics). Recently, real-time PCR methods (TaqMan, molecular beacons, Primer-Probe Energy Transfer system) have been developed for the diagnosis of a wide range of diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, swine vesicular disease and vesicular stomatitis. Multiplex PCR packages have been developed for the simultaneous detection of eight important viruses of swine. By introducing nucleic acid extraction and pipetting robotics, together with the multi-channel real-time PCR machines, the diagnostic procedures have become rapid, robust and automated. In order to standardise the real-time PCR assays, the rules of OIE are considered. By following the five steps of OIE standardisation and validation, the new diagnostic procedures are nationally and internationally standardised and harmonised. The rapid, powerful and internationally standardised molecular diagnosis contributes to the reduction of losses caused by the transboundary viral diseases in swine populations

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
2005, Volume: 53, number: 1, pages: 113-124