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RA2 - Development of infection monitoring tools

© Inra, Florence Carreras
The general objective of RA.2 is to jointly make the latest technologies suitable to be used in the field of animal infectiology with its specific demands (large or small animals, species specific material etc).

This can broken down into the more specific objectives:

  • To customize imaging and telemetric technologies in order to make them suitable for the animals of interest or under certain circumstances.
  • To implement novel molecular tools for monitoring infection processes
  • To upgrade single assays into cost-effective, easy multiplex assays


To date, mouse models of human or farm animal disease are mostly studied using invasive techniques, destructive to the tissue, such as biopsy followed by tissue counting or autoradiography. Although well established, there are several disadvantages to these techniques. These include: large numbers of animals are required, all of which have to be sacrificed; follow-up studies are generally not possible in the same animal nor can multiple samples be obtained from the same animal; and drugs administered as prodrugs, requiring metabolism for efficacy, are difficult to study with destructive methods. Moreover stringent ethical regulations and economic demands (research time and cost of genetically manipulated animals) urge researchers to use other methods that restrict the numbers of animals involved.

In addition, due to the fast technological developments nowadays much more information can be obtained from the animal experiments. Examples are transcriptomics, telemetrics, but also multiplex protein assays or

species independent detection of antibodies with SPR or biomarker research with SELDI. Eventually this should have a beneficial effect on the number of animals used.


To keep up with the speed of the developments and at the same time live up to the ethical and economical requirements many directions are possible. The technologies mentioned below are very diverse as are the adjustments that are needed to make them suitable for the requested applications. The choices of the exact direction of the different tasks very well depend on the possibilities and needs of the involved partners. This will be discussed in a kick-off workshop. This includes open minded thinking what one would wish when there would be no limitations. What would really help animal infectiology experiments? This should lead to well defined task plans in order to obtain broadly carried and applicable deliverables.

Task leaders

  • RA.2.1 Upgrading imaging technologies.
    Task Leader: INRA (France)
  • RA2.2 – Telemetry
    Task leader: INRA (France)
  • RA2.3 – New molecular tools for monitoring infection processes
    Task leader: Parco Tecnologico Padano (Italy)
  • RA2.4 – Multi-diagnostic tools
    Task leader : Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen (Netherlands)