Wildlife disease diagnosis, monitoring, prevention, and control are crucial for wildlife and public health. Wild animals are both target and reservoir hosts of infectious pathogens. Infectious diseases can have a wide range of impacts on wild animals, ranging from subtle but important effects, such as reduced reproduction and life span or increased predation rates, to population declines from lethal disease. Most of these pathogens are zoonotic and capable of cross-spreading across domestic animals and humans. Anthrax, Tuberculosis, and Johne’s disease are the highly prevalent bacterial diseases that are reported in wild herbivores in India (Mondal and Yamage, 2014).Project Objectives:
Development of rapid and cost-effective indigenous LAMP assay for identification of Bacillus anthracis and Mycobacterium spp. (M. tuberculosis and M. bovis) in deer, gaur, and elephants of Tamil Nadu
Development of sensitive ELISA assay for the early detection of Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis of deer, gaur, and elephants of Tamil Nadu
Development of this assay into a module for on-field surveillance and monitoring of Bacillus anthracis, Mycobacterium spp.,and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in herbivores
Knowledge sharing with field personnel through training and skill development
LAMP: Loop-mediated isothermal amplification amplifies the target DNA with high specificity and it’s very rapid. The Bst polymerase used in this technique is highly efficient in strand displacement activity and the rapidness of the amplification increases when using 4 to 6 sets of primers which forms more amplification loops. The LAMP products can be detected using calorimetric, fluorescent detection, and real-time monitoring using a turbidity meter. Here primers are designed specifically to target the partial gene sequence of Bacillus anthracis and Mycobacterium spp. (M. tuberculosis and M. bovis).
ELISA: Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay is a much more sensitive and reliable serological technique. The primary antibodies used are specific to Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosiswhich is available in the blood of the infected animals. Like a Sandwich ELISA, primary antibodies capture the antigen of interest and this was detected by a secondary antibody tagged to an enzyme conjugate, changing the color of the substrate when the samples are in the diseased state. ELISA and LAMP can be applied for large-scale screening of the captive animal population.