The laboratory for molecular characterization of pestiviruses cooperates closely with the national reference laboratory for classical swine fever. By means of RT-PCR, classical swine fever virus (CSFV) genome is detected. The characterization of CSFV isolates is done by sequencing of PCR amplicons. Sequences from three regions of the CSFV genome are sequenced. These are a 150 base fragment from the UTR5´, a 240 base fragment from the Erns region and a 190 base fragment from the E2 region of the CSFV genome.
Detection and characterization of other pestiviruses are done by RT-PCR and subsequent sequencing of a 150 base fragment of the UTR5´of the genome of the various pestiviruses: for reliable identification of pestiviruses which sometimes show considerable sequence differences, a panel of primers is used.
The laboratory was accredited in 2003.
In addition to pestivirus diagnostics, the laboratory provides DNA sequencing services to all laboratories of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut on the island of Riems. For this purpose, two sequencers, one of the type LICOR DNA4200L-2 and one of the type ABI 3130, are available.