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Advances in diagnostics

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‘TECHNOLOGY is taking over. Laboratory diagnosis used to be 99 per cent labour and 1 per cent technology; nowadays the emphasis is the other way around. Technology is now an integral and indispensable part of veterinary laboratories.’

So said Willie Loeffen, president of the European Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, speaking at a recent meeting in Brussels entitled ‘Advances in Diagnostics’.

Comparing the investigation of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and the investigation of Schmallenberg virus, Dr Loeffen noted that it took four years to characterise the cause of PRRS, but, thanks to sequencing technology, Schmallenberg virus was characterised in only a few months. ‘Technological developments mean that diagnosticians now do things that they could only dream about …

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