News & Views
Integrated Strategy for Bovine TB Test
Aug 08 2018 Read 2447 Times
An international consortium focused on developing a new test for bovine tuberculosis is being led by Scientists at Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS). Partners include University College Dublin and four UK-based life sciences companies – Dynamic Extractions, Sona nanotech, ProTEM and Bond Digital Health Solutions.
Professor Mike Gooding, Director of IBERS said “The economic and emotional cost of bovine TB to rural communities can be devastating, which is why a more accurate and reliable testing system is urgently needed. Our approach could be a game changer in detecting TB more efficiently.”
Bovine TB is an infectious disease that affects cattle and other mammals around the world. In the UK, tens of thousands of cattle are destroyed every year; because the results of the most commonly used tests are unable to detect all TB infected cattle within a herd, any individual positive results mean that the whole cattle herd must be quarantined and then re-tested after 60 days. This represents a massive economic and emotional cost to a farmer and affects long-term planning.
Dr Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales said “We are taking a keen interest in all developments in respect of new TB tests and we welcome innovative approaches. The potential uses of a validated test to be developed by this consortium is exciting, not only for the Wales TB Eradication Programme with the prospect of achieving OTF (Officially TB Free) status earlier; but on a world wide scale, both in terms of Bovine TB and Human TB. The success of this project could put Wales firmly on the global map”.
The consortium are working towards a test that will monitor farm animals, native wildlife populations, farm produce and the environment. The results will be integrated into databases, leading to more accurate epidemiology monitoring and the development of informed disease strategy.
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