Fall 2010

Gallant is happy to have served our customers for 15 years, supporting the agricultural sector in Canada. We face the new fiscal year with optimism as we embrace numerous improvements within our organization. We are expanding our diagnostic capabilities to better serve you. We have recently hired new staff and have undergone major facility improvements to expand our production capabilities.

Staffing Announcements

It is with mixed emotions we say good bye to Gina Rahmann. She was a great addition to our team, and recently departed to pursue further education. Good luck Gina!

Gallant Custom Laboratories Inc. now welcomes Nick Baillargeon as part of our technical staff. He replaces Gina with enthusiasm. Nice to have you here Nick!

We would also like to welcome John Rudy as a Quality Control Technician. As we expand, we are creating new opportunities in our organization. Welcome John!

Escherichia coli Virotyping at Gallant

You can download the complete Current Advances report from our website!!!

Gallant has moved away from serotyping Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains and replaced it with a different method with a PCR test that detects genes for specific virulence factors associated with pathogenic E.coli. This new PCR test will enable Gallant Labs to better identify and characterize pathogenic E. coli strains that cause disease in animal herds or poultry flocks. The information produced from PCR testing will be useful in understanding the involvement of pathogenic E. coli and the selection of strains for inclusion in a targeted bacterin.

Improvements in PRRS virus testing

 

For the past 5 years, Gallant has diligently performed PRRSV testing for Ontario boar studs and veterinarians across Canada. The Real-time PCR assay performed at Gallant simultaneously detects, differentiates and quantifies both North American and European PRRS viruses in a single test. The assay is validated for serum, blood swab and saliva (oral fluids) samples.

Keeping the PRRSV Assay Current:

One of the challenges for both control and testing of PRRS is the continual genetic mutation of the virus. To address this concern, Gallant continues to make molecular improvements to our North American (NA) and European (EU) multiplex PRRSV real-time PCR test to ensure it is sensitive and minimize the possibility of false negatives due to emerging PRRSV variants. Consequently, the primers and probes used to detect both the NA and EU viruses are routinely reviewed by comparison and evaluation against current PRRSV virus genetic sequences. To accommodate for the genetic drift in PRRSV virus genetics noted in this year’s review, an additional molecular probe was added to Gallant’s PRRSV PCR assay to improve the detection of emerging NA viruses. This current update will further broaden the spectrum of NA viruses detected and will ensure a high level of sensitivity for our clients.

 

Measuring Gallant’s PRRSV testing procedures:

Gallant Labs continues to participate in the quarterly PRRSV blind testing proficiency panel administered by Boehringer-Ingelheim (BI).

A Summary table of the PRRSV proficiency data from all participating diagnostic laboratories positions Gallant among the labs exhibiting high sensitivity without producing false positives. Compared to other key North American diagnostic laboratories performing similar testing, Gallant ranks high in producing consistent and accurate results.

New Tests to Detect and Characterize Microbial Pathogens

Two new molecular tests have been implemented at Gallant Custom Laboratories Inc. for the detection of Clostridium difficile and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae.

Clostridium difficile:

PCR testing for the detection and characterization of Clostridium difficile isolated from clinical samples is now available. Clostridium difficile species-specific primers are used to confirm the identity of isolates. Subsequent testing using primers for the detection of the 2 main Clostridium difficile virulence genes, toxin A (enterotoxin) and toxin B (cytotoxin)1, can be performed to determine the toxin profile of individual isolates. Most pathogenic strains of C. difficile are toxin A-positive and toxin B-positive (A+ B+), although toxin A-negative and toxin B-positive (A- B+) variants have been reported and recognized as pathogenic2. The appropriate sample is an intestinal or colon sample.

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP):

PCR testing for the detection of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae isolated from clinical samples is now available. Species-specific primers3 are used to confirm the identity of presumptive Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae isolates. Other closely related organisms, like Actinobacillus porcitonsillarum, with similar growth characteristics and biochemical responses, can be incorrectly identified as APP.

This new molecular test will be able to quickly rule out any suspect isolates and differentiate actual APP isolates.