Laboratory for Virology and Serology Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   

Laboratory for Virology and Serology is one of the first laboratories of the Poultry Centre. It was established primarily for diagnostics of Newcastle disease  that in 1960-ies threaten to annul the initial efforts in the development of intensive poultry farming in Croatia. Simultaneously with the procedure of isolation of Newcastle disease virus, the laboratory introduced the inhibition of hemagglutination assay for immunity control consequential to the introduction of vaccination against Newcastle disease. With time, other serological methods have been developed for detection and quantification of specific antibodies in poultry serum. Thus, majority of services of the Laboratory for Virology and Serology are serological tests. In addition to inhibition of hemagglutination assay, routine tests include rapid serum agglutination, gel immunodiffusion test, serum neutralisation test and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibodies for a number of viral and bacterial diseases are detected and quantified.

Detection and quantification of specific antibodies in the Laboratory for Virology and Serology is conducted for two basic reasons: 1) detection of infection in non-vaccinated flocks or 2) control of post-vaccination immunity in vaccinated flocks.
Share and scope of tests in the Laboratory for Virology and Serology depends primarily on the measures ordered for control of infectious disease and on field requirements and needs.
Finally, at the Laboratory for Virology and Serology, viruses are detected, isolated and identified from poultry organs and clinical samples. Majority of materials for virus isolation arrive from the pathology laboratory and others are delivered from the Veterinary Institute Zagreb, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb and veterinary stations from various parts of the Republic of Croatia. Virus isolation is done routinely in embryonic chicken eggs, and for that purpose also a cell culture was developed. For detection and identification of virus, whether directly in clinical material or after the isolation, molecular methods are developed in addition to the standard procedures.
Molecular methods at the Poultry Centre are used for diagnostic and research purposes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has a significant advantage over standard laboratory methods due to its sensitivity and specificity and the fact that the results may be obtained in a significantly shorter time. In addition to standard PCR equipment, the Poultry Centre has a Real Time PCR device, which makes possible the testing of a large number of samples in a short time with very high sensitivity. Such capacities provide the Centre with a great advantage in fast testing of a large number of samples, which is of exceptional importance particularly in the diagnostics of avian influenza.
Based on the Ordinances for the measures of containment and control of avian influenza and Newcastle disease, the Laboratory is a national reference laboratory for these two diseases. Also, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) appointed the Laboratory, based on TCP/RER/3004 program, the reference laboratory for avian influenza for the Eastern Europe and Caucasus countries. Within the scope of the program, the laboratory has been producing reference reagents for avian influenza and conducting the training for laboratory diagnostics of the disease.