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Development of new rapid diagnostic test to detect multiple pathogens causing bovine respiratory disease complex

Scientists at Moredun Research Institute have developed and validated a new molecular diagnostic test that is capable of detecting seven of the most common pathogens associated with bovine respiratory disease complex from only single sample. This new rapid test is a significant advance enabling accurate and rapid diagnosis of a complex disease syndrome allowing swift and appropriate treatments and management interventions to be applied.

Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) affects beef and dairy herds worldwide and has significant welfare and economic impacts. The total lifetime economic losses per affected animal have been estimated to range from £262 to £772 depending on the type of production system. There are also concerns about inappropriate use of medicines and increasing reports of anti-microbial resistance therefore there is a real need to expand the use of accurate and rapid diagnostics to support disease prevention and control strategies on farm.

The new multiplex tandem RT-PCR test detects the seven most common pathogens associated with BRDC, namely: Bovine Herpes virus-1, Bovine Parainfluenza virus-3, Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Mycoplasma bovis, Histophilus somni, Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica.

 Dr Mara Rocchi, Head of Virus Surveillance Unit at Moredun said,

“This new multiplex test requires only a single sample from an affected animal and is designed to give a rapid, semi-quantitative result enabling a much more targeted and effective approach to disease treatment and management on the farm. This test replaces a number of individual tests supporting rapid syndromic respiratory surveillance at farm level ”

Moredun scientists have been working together with colleagues at SRUC Veterinary Services to validate the test in the field.. The new test is to be used by SRUC  for sample submissions for respiratory pathogen detection going forward.

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