Objectives and Benefits


The overall aim of the project is to develop and validate (where possible) a generic platform technology and series of protocols for the identification and characterisation of viruses responsible for diseases in animals, plants and fish, including the major quarantine viruses of interest to Defra. Specifically, the project aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Probe design (bioinformatics). To design specific synthetic oligonucleotide probes for all the viruses, viral genera and families of statutory concern to Defra.
  2. Assay protocols. To develop robust and reproducible micro-array diagnostic protocols including slide chemistry, amplification strategy, probe labelling and hybridisation conditions
  3. Platform technologies. To establish the advantages and disadvantages of currently available commercial array (hardware) platform technologies.
  4. High resolution (resequencing) arrays. To assess the utility of high resolution (resequencing) arrays for fine scale typing of statutory viruses
  5. Array analysis. To develop standardised protocols for the analysis and data dissemination of micro-array data from the "biosecurity chip"
  6. Array validation. To validate the "biosecurity chip" array and common assay protocol against selected quarantine viruses available as reference material in partner laboratories.