A nucleic acid-based multiplexed assay was developed that combines detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) with rule-out assays for two other foreign animal diseases and four domestic animal diseases that cause vesicular or ulcerative lesions indistinguishable from FMDV infection in cattle, sheep and swine. The FMDV "look-alike" diagnostic assay panel contains 5 PCR and 12 reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) signatures for a total of 17 simultaneous PCR amplifications for 7 diseases plus incorporating 4 internal assay controls. It was developed and optimized to amplify both DNA and RNA viruses simultaneously in a single tube and employs Luminex™ liquid array technology. Assay development including selection of appropriate controls, a comparison of signature performance in single and multiplex testing against target nucleic acids, as well of limits of detection for each of the individual signatures is presented. While this assay is a prototype and by no means a comprehensive test for FMDV "look-alike" viruses, an assay of this type is envisioned to have benefit to a laboratory network in routine surveillance and possibly for post-outbreak proof of freedom from foot-and-mouth disease.
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