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Biosensor for Field Diagnostics

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Final progress rept. 29 Aug 2006-29 Jun 2007

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Disease has become an increasingly important issue for wildlife management considerations over the past two decades. Our long term goals are to understand the impacts of diseases on free-ranging tortoises in order to improve the sustainability of managed tortoise populations. One of our overall objectives is to improve the diagnosis of infectious diseases in tortoises. The specific objective of this project was to accumulate additional data on performance of the RAPTORTM field-portable evanescent-wave biosensor for rapid diagnosis. Banked plasma samples were tested in a double-blind study under laboratory conditions, then from that data the parameters that define the reliability of a diagnostic test were estimated. Under the conditions described the RAPTORTM was able to discriminate between true seropositive and true seronegative tortoise plasma. False positives were rare and false negatives were more frequent than false positives. Management Recommendations When making tortoise management decisions on the basis of infectious disease diagnostics, it is critical to establish goals for the population of interest, to determine a necessary sample size to meet the goals for surveillance, and to consider the PPY and NPY of the tests before implementing any policy. The goals established for the tortoise population can help managers decide whether potential assay errors should impact decision-making, and whether the benefits of the field-portable format and lower per-sample cost of the RAPTORTM assay outweigh its disadvantages in capital cost and International Traffic in Arms Regulations ITAR compliance.

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  • Biology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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