Development and Evaluation of a Rapid Diagnostic Assay for Avian Influenza to the Point of Care Setting

Ontario’s chicken industry contributes $2.72 billion to Canadian economy, and supports 19,183 full-time equivalent jobs (Ontario Chicken Industry Report, 2013). To date, 2015 has seen 309 individual outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) reported to the World Organization for Animal Health, a 147% increase on outbreaks reported in 2014. In Ontario alone, 29 farms were quarantined in April 2015 due to AI outbreak (CFIA, 2015). Type A, especially strains A (H5N2 and H5N1) and A (H7N9), has proven to be deadlier, putting governments and farmers alike under pressure to ensure the health of birds and ultimately the people who consume them. Preventing the spread of the infection with effective surveillance through early diagnosis is the best way to keep the disease under control. To meet the challenges of food security and production efficiency in Canada’s poultry industry, we propose to develop and evaluate a rapid, electrochemical biosensor assay with superior sensitivity and specificity with a miniaturized electrochemical sensor assembly as a portable device for pen side diagnosis of avian influenza virus from poultry. A rapid diagnostic tool would allow veterinarians and farmers to make early diagnosis, and will enhance rapid management decisions to control or treat the flu outbreaks.

Faculty Supervisor:

Suresh Neethirajan


Murugan Veerapandian


Canadian Poultry Research Council






University of Guelph



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