A new diagnostic testing service, designed specifically for veterinary surgeons and businesses involved in the pig/poultry industries, has been launched by Sci-Tech Laboratories.
Created to deliver a quicker and more specific disease diagnosis than was previously possible, the new service uses a real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method to detect DNA and RNA in bacteria and viruses from a variety of sample matrices, including tissues, swabs and, additionally for pigs, oral fluid samples.
“This technology means the tests for organisms causing diseases such as salmonella, mycoplasma, coccidiosis, and PRRS (Porcine reproductive & respiratory syndrome) are quicker and more specific,” said Sci-Tech, pointing out that most existing culture tests rely on viable bacteria and viruses to enable the target organism to be grown and identified.
“The new tests, however, can detect non-viable (dead) micro-organisms from animal tissue, throat swabs, blood and faeces. They can also detect and identify incredibly low numbers of viruses and bacteria which, in previous tests, may not have shown up at all. Furthermore, they can distinguish between the different groups and strains of bacteria such as Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium or the European versus North American strain of PRRS in pigs.”
The company also said that in addition to offering greater diagnostic accuracy, the PCR tests can be completed “very quickly”, usually between 24 and 48 hours.
“This can enable treatment for a disease to be started earlier, resulting in a quicker response,” said Sci-Tech’s consultant, Rob Harrison, adding that this could save producers “hundreds, if not, thousands of pounds”.
The new service will be provided from Sci-Tech’s facility at Craven Arms in Shropshire.