Immunological and molecular biology techniques in disease diagnosis
The improvement of existing immunoassay techniques, development of monoclonal antibody technology and the development of new immunoassay approaches are all working together to provide new tools for the detection of disease-causing organisms in fish and crustaceans. Following the introduction of nucleic acid hybridization technique and PCR, it was recognized that the methods offered a sensitive approach to the detection and identification of specific microorganisms as in the case of a bacterial or viral infection in a variety of sample types. Potentially, a characteristic DNA sequence from a single virus particle or cell of a particular organism can be amplified to detectable levels within a short period of time. Conventional diagnostic methods that involve the culture of microorganisms can take days or weeks to complete or very tedious to perform. PCR offers a rapid, very sensitive, very specific and simple alternative. Further developments in immunodiagnostics and emerging technologies such as DNA-based tests will revolutionize the detection and identification of infectious disease agents.
de la Peña, L. D. (2001). Immunological and molecular biology techniques in disease diagnosis. In G. D. Lio-Po, C. R. Lavilla, & E. R. Cruz-Lacierda (Eds.), Health Management in Aquaculture (pp. 137-158). Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines: Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.