Virus Surveillance Unit: protecting livestock and wildlife
The Virus Surveillance Unit (VSU) at Moredun contributes to two important aspects of the Scottish rural economy. The first of these is the control of endemic disease in domestic livestock and the second is through the effect of viruses on the biodiversity of wildlife.
In addition, the resources at Moredun and the experience of the staff are invaluable for advising on the diagnosis of any new animal disease that may emerge. By building up banks of virus isolates it is possible to monitor changes occurring in viruses under field conditions especially after the introduction of new vaccines. In addition, any newly introduced virus can be quickly and reliably identified. The platform technology of real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been used to develop a new generation of highly sensitive, quantitative tests to detect and identify ruminant pestiviruses, louping-ill virus, bovine respiratory viruses, ruminant herpesviruses and orf virus.
The VSU provides specialist virological support to the disease control centres of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) and to other veterinary laboratories. Some diagnostic testing for other clients can also be performed by individual arrangement. For further information please contact Dr Kim Willoughby.
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