Navigation Links
Vectors of bluetongue get a name
Date:10/6/2011

Scientists of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITG) have developed a molecular technique to easily and dependably identify the biting midges that spread bluetongue disease. Until know this identification was a problem. The technology helps to understand how the disease spreads, and how to control it. They report in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

Bluetongue primarily affects sheep, but also cattle and other ruminants. It is not dangerous to people, but it causes great economical damage. Until a few years ago, the disease did not hit northern Europe. People assumed only tropical midges could transfer the responsible virus. Also, the virus did only replicate in the midges above 15 C, and often even higher. But in 2006 The Netherlands and Belgium were hit. Once the virus was present, local midges showed to be capable of transmitting it.

There are a lot of species called 'biting midge' (Cullicoides to biologists), and with classical tools it is almost unfeasible to differentiate them there is a reason why they are popularly called no-see-ums. You have to put them under a microscope and measure minuscule details like the dimensions of the genitals. Work for specialists, and even then.

But if you don't know which midges transmit the disease, you don't know where it will spread, nor where you have to fight the midges those little bugs there over that muck, should I be afraid or not? And if you want your pest control to be efficient and ecologically sound, you'll have to know who's the enemy, and who isn't.

So the ITG researchers developed a simple and cheap molecular identification technology that identifies Cullicoides species in the lab with 100% certainty. They concentrated on the most important species in northern Europe, Culicoides obsoletus, C. scoticus, C. chiopterus and C. dewulfi, but they can reliably identify more than twenty species. Tests on larvae are very promising. Until now there is no way to differentiate larvae.

The scientists produced a 'gene chip' or micro-array, a glass slide to which short pieces of DNA are attached, that are characteristic for each species. It costs quite some searching in the DNA to find those characteristic stretches, but once you have found them (in this case the ITS1 gene was used), you can attach them one next to the other on a glass slide. Such a slide can contain several dozens of different pieces of DNA, on well documented positions. When you wash the gene chip with DNA from an unknown no-see-um getting that DNA is a routine job in these modern times identical pieces of DNA will recognise and stick to each other. This causes a blue colour reaction at that spot. With the naked eye one can recognise the characteristic pattern of spots for each species.

Contrary to other molecular identification tests, this one is very specific, and able to recognise several species at the same time. It certainly helps to determinate midges that are difficult to recognise under the microscope. And it works. When the French CIRAD (Centre for International cooperation and Research for Agronomy and Development) sent out a ring test to see which labs could identify four species of biting midges with molecular methods, ITG was the only institute to identify all samples correctly, three times in a row.


'/>"/>

Contact: Isra Deblauwe
ideblauwe@itg.be
32-324-76528
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gene therapy success depends on ability to advance viral delivery vectors to commercialization
2. RD114 envelope proteins provide an effective and versatile approach to pseudotype lentiviral vectors
3. Development of new anti-cancer gene therapy approach using lentiviral vectors
4. Virus pulls bait and switch on insect vectors
5. Protein analysis methods, viral vectors featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- A new partnership announced today will help life ... a fraction of the time it takes today, ... insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and ... rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi,s ... pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... April 14, 2016 BioCatch ... Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a ... of the deployment of its platform at several of ... technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is ...
(Date:3/31/2016)...   LegacyXChange, Inc. ... LegacyXChange is excited to release its first ... be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed authentic ... also provide potential shareholders a sense of the value ... industry that is notorious for fraud. The video is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), a leading animal ... the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ownership and additional ... appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been appointed CEO/President and ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s New York ... Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, research organizations, ... Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General of the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) outlining ... if clinically relevant data were available when and where it was needed. The ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Lady had been battling arthritis since the age of two and at the ... Hannah sought the help of Dr Jeff Christiansen of Superior Veterinary Surgical Solutions ... help with the pain of Lady’s arthritis. Dr Christiansen suggested that in conjunction with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: