Universal Sample Preparation Tool for Bulk Milk Tank Monitoring

Principal Investigator(s): ,


Bulk milk tank samples are often tested for microorganisms through PCR based assays. While PCR based assays are very sensitive, they are still hindered by an absolute requirement of a critical amount of the nucleic acid being present for reliable detection. In many cases, these tests are also not very conducive to off-site diagnostics because of sample degradation/alterations during the transportation time frame or a requirement for cold-chain storage prior to analysis. These are fundamental limitations of the current methodologies that hinder early detection and off-site detection. The ability to capture multiple classes of analytes, rapidy concentrate low abundance markers from large volume biofluid samples while concurrently preventing sample degradation may also improve specificity and the ability to conduct multiplexed assay surveillance panels from a single sample. Methods to enrich and protect viruses would make great strides in improving the limit of detection of assays for viruses of critical importance, such as Foot and Mouth Disease virus (FMDv).

The purpose of this effort is to develop a sample collection, storage, and enrichment platform for the detection of viruses from large volume bulk milk tank samples. This project uses magnetic Nanotrap particle technology to capture and enrich the FMDv surrogate, Bovine Rhinovirus, from milk samples followed by qRT-PCR for detection. The Nanotrap particle sample preparation technology could then be coupled to other IIAD investments such as “Optimization and Validation of A Real-Time RT-PCR Assay For Rapid Detection of FMDV for Use in Bulk Tank Milk Samples”.

Objectives and Impacts

A sample collection, storage and enrichment platform for detection of viruses from large volumes coupled with a rapid diagnostic assay such as bulk tank milk FMD rRT-PCR are valuable tools to support situational awareness and rapid decision making in the response to an outbreak of FMD with potential to contribute to early detection or added confidence of disease freedom during or in recovery from an FMD outbreak.  Such tools will be essential to supporting the Secure Milk Supply plan and maintaining continuity of business for the dairy industry in the face of an FMD outbreak.