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Making a definitive aetiological diagnosis using methods and interpretations consistent with established world standards is a critical part in the early diagnosis of an emergency animal disease and in initiating control/eradication programs. It always relies on testing in a laboratory of samples collected from animals suspected to be infected with the infectious agent of concern. Laboratory testing and correct interpretation of test results is also important in many surveillance programs, which are conducted either to detect presence of the disease in a population or to provide evidence of absence of the disease.
This subject will combine hands-on performance of currently used laboratory tests with lectures, tutorials and workshops with real-life examples to explore the use and limitations of tests and their correct interpretation in different situations. It will provide a basic understanding of the tests to support learning in other subjects concerning diagnosis of specific diseases and general principles of epidemiology and surveillance.
(Note: This is the only subject that will require physical attendance by the student and will constitute the first module of the course. It will be co-ordinated by the University of Melbourne and taught by staff at the University, at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) and at the Victorian Department of Economic Development Jobs Transport and Resources’ AgriBio Laboratory (Bundoora) and the Victorian Chief Veterinary Officer's Unit (Attwood). Sections of the subject will be taught at each of these sites. It will be offered as a 2-week intensive and will involve lectures, tutorials and hands-on laboratory exercises.)
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students will have gained:
- A general overview of the content and requirements of the MVPH program
- Experience in collecting samples for testing and an understanding of the importance of appropriate sampling and shipping for competent testing
- Experience and understanding of the various laboratory tests including their strengths and weaknesses
- An ability to select appropriate test types for specific investigations and to interpret their results
On completion of this subject, students will have developed:
- An ability to collect appropriate samples and send them safely to a laboratory
- An appreciation of the different information provided by different tests and how this is used in diagnosis and surveillance
- An ability to communicate effectively with laboratory diagnosticians in selection and interpretation of tests
Last updated: 3 November 2022