In this research we developed a real-time SYBR green assay to detect both Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) and Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) in a single reaction. A total of 30,000 samples from broiler breeder flocks were screened using traditional serology (plate agglutination, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, hemagglutination inhibition) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR; traditional and real-time). It was determined that the real-time SYBR green PCR assay developed in this research was more rapid than all three methods tested and more sensitive and specific than culturing or serology. The SYBR green assay was optimized and could detect as few as 30 template copies of DNA per sample. In addition, the SYBR green assay was less expensive than traditional culturing and serology. MG and MS are infectious bacteria that can rapidly spread and infect commercial chicken flocks. These diseases can cause a significant loss to the poultry industry and especially to broiler breeders because infected flocks are destroyed under the National Poultry Improvement Plan MG and MS clean programs. The real-time SYBR green assay developed in this research has the potential to reduce the time it takes to reach a correct diagnosis and to arrest outbreaks of MG and MS.
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Vol. 53 • No. 1