Molecular diagnostics is the use of molecular biology techniques to detect and characterise disease pathogens at a point-of-care, meaning in the field. The CSIR’s molecular diagnostics expertise is applicable in livestock disease outbreak; military sweeps for troop settlements; emergency first-responder kit for suspected infectious biological agents; and surveillance of disease outbreak field hotspots.
The CSIR has sound expertise in molecular diagnostics. The organisation has worked on projects that relied on molecular diagnostics, including a foot-and-mouth disease management project. Infectious livestock diseases continuously threaten African food security and prevent livestock commodity exports to lucrative American, European and some Asian markets. The diagnostic instruments developed have proven suitable for field detection and verification of infectious disease, especially veterinary pathogens. Although this has been validated in animal samples, it can be adapted for human and/or zoonotic pathogens.