Validation of the diagnostic accuracy of a real-time fecal PCR test to identify Angiostrongylus vasorum infection

French Heartworm is a very real threat to the health of domesticated and wild dogs in Newfoundland. The purpose of this research project is to validate the sensitivity and specificity of a newly developed fecal test for this parasite. This will be done by collecting fecal and heart/lung samples from deceased dogs and wild canids (ie. coyotes, foxes). The results of running the fecal samples through this test alone are inconclusive. However, we examine the heart and lungs to accurately identify a positively infected animal, which gives us a confident diagnosis to compare the fecal test results to. Validating any new test for the purpose of commercialization is crucial. The company should know that it is reliable, beneficial and the limit of its sensitivity. Also, because we are investigating results for domestic dogs and wild canids, it is important to know that the fecal test has many applications.

Faculty Supervisor:

Drs. Dawn Marshall & Hugh Whitney


Kimberly Chafe


IDEXX Laboratories




Fisheries and wildlife


Memorial University of Newfoundland



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