A prototype diagnostic device to test for a parasite-borne disease threatening about 60 million cattle in sub-Saharan Africa has been created.

The endemic cattle disease nagana, also called animal African trypanosomiasis, is caused mainly by two parasite species – Trypanosoma vivax and Trypanosoma congolense.

T-vivax-detection
The diagnostic device identify whether an animal is infected with T vivax within 30 minutes.

It causes muscle wasting and death, and accounts for up to a 50% loss in milk and meat production across more than 40 African countries. It has also spread to South America.

Diagnostic benefits

Developed by the University of Dundee and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), the diagnostic device, which is less than 3in long and resembles a pregnancy testing kit, can analyse a single drop of blood and, within 30 minutes, identify whether an animal is infected with T vivax.

Importantly, it doesn’t require electricity or any additional high-tech equipment – factors essential for deployment in resource-limited settings.

Mike Ferguson, regius professor of life sciences at the University of Dundee and who led the research team, said: “Nagana is difficult to diagnose because early symptoms can be easily confused with a myriad of other endemic diseases.

“There is an urgent need for new, inexpensive and simple diagnostics that can be used by vets and farmers to test animals prior to deploying expensive medicines.”

With this in mind, GALVmed – an Edinburgh-based non-governmental organisation that makes livestock vaccines, medicines and diagnostics accessible and affordable to the millions of smallholder farmers in developing world – asked the University of Dundee to help develop a diagnostic for nagana.

Evaluation

With the collaboration of BBI Solutions OEM, which specialises in the development and manufacturing of lateral flow assays in the Dundee MediPark, the prototype diagnostic device was evaluated with more than 100 serum samples from uninfected and T vivax-infected cattle.

The promising results, published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, have inspired GALVmed to further investigate this innovative diagnostic test for use in Africa.

View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

Hany Elsheikha discusses the clinical impact of this parasite, as well as approaches for treating and preventing infestation, regarding canine and feline patients.

27 mins

Peter Edmondson offers practical guidance on how to tackle this challenge in cattle.

19 mins

The BVA and the British Veterinary Poultry Association have given their support to a new best practice procedure for prescribing antibiotics to game birds.

4 mins

Debbie Gow and Hilary Jackson discuss the options available for using these types of therapies, including the various protocols and side effects.

28 mins

Ben Sweeney looks at the potentially fruitful offering a veterinary career can bring and encourages readers to embrace it.

23 mins

Lucy Irvine and Erin Thompson provide an insight into an encouraging campaign run by University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine students.

21 mins