OAHN Wildlife Network Research Project: Botulism Test Development (in progress)

Project Lead: Dr. Claire Jardine

Collaborators:  Dr. Alex Reid

Project Proposal:

The main objective of this project is to validate multiplex qPCR tests for detection of botulism toxin genes including toxin types A, B, C, D, E, and F in diagnostic samples.  Currently, there is no veterinary diagnostic lab in Canada that offer testing for botulism.  As a result, all samples are shipped and tested in the USA making this testing cost prohibitive and reducing the number of samples tested and creating a gap in animal disease surveillance effort, as many cases of botulism are not officially recorded through diagnostic labs.  Based on our past experience mouse protection test, even though very sensitive, was not sustainable because of expenses associated with animal care and more importantly concerns regarding animal use in diagnostics.  Therefore, there is a need to address this gap in diagnostics and surveillance and to develop an alternative test for botulism detection