Molecular Biology

Examination by means of PCR - polymerase chain reaction - has become an indispensable part of infection diagnostics.

In this procedure, certain parts of the genetic material (nucleic acids) are multiplied by enzymes (polymerases) until a sufficient quantity has been produced, which then can  be made visible.

The advantage of this method is that it is highly specific and detects even smallest amounts of exactly those parts of the genetic material (targets) that are sought with the respective test system. The genetic material of both living and non-reproducing pathogens can be detected. Even non-specific accompanying flora cause relatively little interference. In addition, the examination can be carried out relatively quickly, so that a result is usually available approx. 24 -36 hours after receipt of the sample.

The limits of the method are set by the absolute detection limit of the respective method and the destruction of genetic material by decomposition processes in the sample. The RNA (ribonucleic acid) of certain viral pathogens (PRRSV and IAV) is more sensitive and generally more unstable than the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of e.g. Porcine Parvovirus, Porcine Circovirus or bacteria. Another disadvantage of PCR detection of pathogens is that no isolates of the respective pathogens are available for further investigations. Therefore, for resistance testing or the production of a stable-specific vaccines of bacterial pathogens, methods of classical cultural bacteriology must  be used.

The detection of infectious agents by PCR is the method of choice especially for diseases caused by viral agents or for bacterial agents whose cultivation is particularly problematic or lengthy, such as Leptospira, Brachyspira or Chlamydia, Borrelia and Coxiella (Q fever).

The IVD GmbH has therefore compiled a number of PCR screenings that take important differential diagnostic pathogens in the case of respiratory problems, reproductive problems and abortion or diarrhoea problems into account.

For example:

·         PCR screening “Respiration” for the detection of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Mesomycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Influenza A virus and PRRSV (differentiation EU-, NA-, HPNA-type) in bronchioalveolar lavage or lung tissue.

·         PCR screening “Enteritis” for the detection of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, Lawsonia intracellularis and Salmonella in faecal samples or small and large intestine.


For further questions please contact:


Dr. med. vet. Jan Böhmer
(Head of Molecular Biology/R&D)
Phone: +49 511 220029-30 or -0


 Our diagnostic offers for various diseases and animal species can be found in our list of products and services as well as on the diagnostic request forms.