Veterinary surgeons favour speed and accuracy in diagnostic tests over cost, according to the results of a new survey.

Veterinary surgeons favour speed and accuracy in diagnostic tests over cost, according to the results of a new survey.

Vets want faster, more accurate tests according to a surveyMore than 334 people from eight countries were asked about their current usage and knowledge of diagnostics, and asked what they would like to see in the future. Greater accuracy was the number one need among veterinarians, mentioned by 37%, followed by more speed (22%), cost savings (16%) and greater confidence in the results (8%).

Some claimed they had to wait between three and six days for results (39%) with 20% of respondents claiming they had to wait more than six days for a diagnosis. Only 10% of those surveyed claimed they got their results within 24 hours.

The survey, which was commissioned by biotechnology company Life Technologies, showed most test results were currently available in one to three days.

Although many of the vets said they were aware of modern molecular diagnostics tests such as  polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which generally offer quicker results than culture testing, most admitted they did not know which were used most often.

The vast majority of farmers said they were happy to leave the decision on type of diagnostics test to their veterinarian.

Frederic Bar, senior marketing manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Life Technologies, said: “The results show that veterinarians are looking for the speed and accuracy that modern molecular diagnostics, such as PCR, can provide. But the technology is still not being used as widely as it could be.”

One way in which veterinarians could get faster, more accurate-results would be to specify PCR when they submitted samples to diagnostic laboratories, he said.

“Diagnostics have really moved on in recent years, and the modern tests can give very reliable results, often in just one day, so veterinarians and farmers can make herd-health decisions more quickly,” he added.

The survey found that bovine viral diarrhoea, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and Mycobacterium avium species paratuberculosis (MAP) tests were the most commonly used in cattle, while porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, influenza A and Salmonella topped the list for swine. For sheep and goats, Salmonella, MAP and Chlamydia were the most frequently mentioned tests; for horses, equine herpes virus, equine infectious anaemia and Salmonella were most common. Avian influenza was the most commonly tested disease in poultry.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
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