Life Technologies Corporation has introduced its first Friedrich Loeffler Institut (FLI)-approved real-time PCR test to rapidly detect the bacterium that causes Johne’s disease.

Life Technologies Corporation has introduced its first Friedrich Loeffler Institut (FLI)-approved real-time PCR test to rapidly detect the bacterium that causes Johne’s disease, a debilitating infection that is among the most costly to control in dairy cattle in Germany and around the world.

VetMAX MAP Real-Time PCR Screening KitVetMAX MAP Real-Time PCR Screening Kit detects the presence of Mycoplasma avium paratuberculosis (MAP) – the bacterium that causes Johne’s Disease – in just one day. The test is as reliable as the current gold standard for methods, which is widely used but takes up to 16 weeks to produce results.

Christina Boss, European professional service veterinarian for Life Technologies, said: “Farmers can easily and quickly discriminate highly contaminated animals who spread the disease quickly (high-shedders) within their herd and separate them to increase herd health.

Dr Christina Boss“Not only do farmers not have to wait so long for the results, but they can cull or buy animals on the basis of the test results without worrying about the possibility of false negatives or false positives.”

A key advantage of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is its ability to detect the presence of pathogens at very low levels, meaning infections can be positively identified in the early stages. This compares favourably with other forms of testing that are based on detecting the immune response to infection and can take longer for results.

Dr Boss said: “The kit offers an easy and inexpensive alternative to screen herds for the presence of high-shedders and so-called persistently infected herd animals. As such, it can be used as the basis for a strategic Johne’s Disease control programme.”

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