a Animal Health Laboratory

Upper Hutt, New Zealand

a Animal Health Laboratory

Upper Hutt, New Zealand

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PubMed | A Animal Health Laboratory, B Avivet Ltd., D Investigation and Diagnostics Centres and Response and C Pacificvet Ltd
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Avian diseases | Year: 2016

Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale (ORT) has been considered exotic to New Zealand and thus, any samples from poultry suspected of ORT infection are submitted as part of an exotic disease investigation managed by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and subjected to standardized test protocols carried out in the physical containment level 3+ laboratory at MPIs Animal Health Laboratory (AHL). All previous exotic disease investigations concerning ORT produced negative results by bacterial culture and conventional PCR. Following the recent introduction of a real-time PCR for ORT at the AHL, several tracheal wash fluids from backyard chickens ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) were tested positive. This identification constituted the first detection of ORT in New Zealand poultry. As a result, a second premise was investigated with further samples testing positive for ORT by molecular assays. This paper describes the two exotic disease investigations associated with the first detection of ORT in New Zealand poultry and its implications.


PubMed | a Animal Health Laboratory and b New Zealand Center for Conservation Medicine
Type: Journal Article | Journal: New Zealand veterinary journal | Year: 2016

To describe the methods used at the Animal Health Laboratory (AHL, Ministry for Primary Industries) to identify Paranannizziopsis australasiensis.Skin biopsy samples from two adult male tuatara were submitted to the AHL in March 2014. Approximately half of each sample was processed for fungal culture and incubated on mycobiotic agar containing cycloheximide at 30C. Following morphological examination of the culture products, DNA was extracted from suspect colonies. PCR was used to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of fungal rRNA using primers ITS1 and ITS4. Positive amplicons were subjected to DNA sequencing and the results were compared to published sequences. In addition, DNA was extracted from the remaining skin samples and the same PCR was carried out to compare the results.After 7 days of incubation, colonies morphologically resembling P. australasiensis were observed. DNA extracted from these isolates tested positive for P. australasiensis by PCR and DNA sequencing. Samples of DNA extracted directly from the infected skin samples tested negative for P. australasiensis using the generic fungal PCR.Isolation and identification of P. australasiensis was carried out using a combination of fungal culture and molecular testing available at AHL. Results were available in significantly less time than in the past, when isolates had to be sent overseas. PCR and sequencing of fungal isolates is a valuable tool for identification of species that have few, if any, unique macroscopic or microscopic features to aid identification. Further sampling from captive and wild New Zealand reptiles will provide important information on the epidemiology of P. australasiensis, and the conservation and management implications for tuatara and other native reptile species.

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