Nucleotide sequencing has become a very popular technique for diagnosis and characterization of pathogens and is accessible to most veterinary practices.
A nucleotide sequence provides information on the nature of the pathogen, its source and its main characteristics such as strain, virulence and drug resistance.
Bioinformatics provides tools to gather, store, and analyse these biological sequences, by dissecting and interpreting biological data from different organisms
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB) have developed a new e-learning course on bioinformatics of animal viruses to improve prevention and control of animal diseases.
The first module entitled "Phylogenetics of Animal Pathogens: Basic Principles and Applications" was released in 2013. Designed as a self-learning module for animal health laboratory staff, it is organized in four chapters: 1) basic notions on phylogenetic trees; Book by Isaac Salazar
2) how to build phylogenetic trees; 3) how to interpret phylogenetic trees, and 4) exercises. Many examples are included such as influenza, Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Peste des Petits Ruminants viruses. The entire course can be completed in approximately 4 hours.
The second module, entitled “BLAST and Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA) Programs” was released in May 2014. This module is subdivided into two parts that outline two of the main bioinformatics tools that help with the analysis of large sequences: Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) and Multiple Sequence Alignment (MSA). This new module requires approx. 2 hours to complete the BLAST chapter and 2 more hours are needed to complete the MSA chapter.