The use of Flinders Technology Associates (FTA®) filter cards to quantify Marek's disease virus (MDV) DNA for the diagnosis of Marek's disease (MD) and to monitor MD vaccines was evaluated. Samples of blood (43), solid tumors (14), and feather pulp (FP; 36) collected fresh and in FTA cards were analyzed. MDV DNA load was quantified by real-time PCR. Threshold cycle (Ct) ratios were calculated for each sample by dividing the Ct value of the internal control gene (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) by the Ct value of the MDV gene. Statistically significant correlation (P < 0.05) within Ct ratios was detected between samples collected fresh and in FTA cards by using Pearson's correlation test. Load of serotype 1 MDV DNA was quantified in 24 FP, 14 solid tumor, and 43 blood samples. There was a statistically significant correlation between FP (r = 0.95), solid tumor (r = 0.94), and blood (r = 0.9) samples collected fresh and in FTA cards. Load of serotype 2 MDV DNA was quantified in 17 FP samples, and the correlation between samples collected fresh and in FTA cards was also statistically significant (Pearson's coefficient, r = 0.96); load of serotype 3 MDV DNA was quantified in 36 FP samples, and correlation between samples taken fresh and in FTA cards was also statistically significant (r = 0.84). MDV DNA samples extracted 3 days (t0) and 8 months after collection (t1) were used to evaluate the stability of MDV DNA in archived samples collected in FTA cards. A statistically significant correlation was found for serotype 1 (r = 0.96), serotype 2 (r = 1), and serotype 3 (r = 0.9). The results show that FTA cards are an excellent media to collect, transport, and archive samples for MD diagnosis and to monitor MD vaccines. In addition, FTA cards are widely available, inexpensive, and adequate for the shipment of samples nationally and internationally.
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Vol. 53 • No. 4