Reliability of Detection Methods for Pathogens and Availability of Molecular Methods



Detection methods for pathogens from animals or the environment are generally characterized by their microbiological sensitivity, as well as their epidemiologic sensitivity and specificity. Isaacson (2000) defined the epidemiologic sensitivity of a detection method as a combination of how few organisms can be detected by an assay (microbiological sensitivity), how well the assay performs using 'real' samples obtained from animals, whether a sample collected from a 'positive animal' is positive at the time of sampling, and whether a proper sample has been collected. Specificity of a detection assay was defined as how well the assay discriminates between the desired target organism and other related but incorrect targets. The reliability of any detection method is affected by issues concerning its sensitivity and specificity.


Culture Method Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction TaqMan Assay Yersinia Enterocolitica 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ManitobaWinnipeg

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