Thermo Fisher Scientific presents validation data for new bovine tuberculosis detection kit

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Farm Forum

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — Validation data presented today by researchers at the 4th Congress of the European Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (EAVLD) shows that Thermo Fisher Scientific’s VetMAX M. tuberculosis Complex PCR kit is a reliable tool to confirm the presence of mycobacteria belonging to the M. tuberculosis complex. Development of the new real-time PCR kit extends the company’s portfolio of tests for the detection of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). When used in combination with the company’s existing bTB portfolio, consisting of reagents for skin tests and IFNγ release assays (Bovigam), the newest solution provides veterinarians with an effective combination of tests for their bTB screening programs.

Dr. Jean Louis Moyen, Director of the Regional Analysis and Research Laboratory of Dordogne, France, who was among the scientists to present data at the conference, said: “We have tested positive and negative field lymph node samples from cattle, wild boar and badger with the VetMAX M. tuberculosis Complex Real-Time PCR kit in our laboratory as part of the validation study. The test showed excellent diagnostic sensitivity and specificity with 87 out of 88 infected lymph nodes correctly identified and no false positive results in the 284 samples tested. Implementation of the test in the lab was really easy.”

Enhanced detection

The new PCR test detects all seven strains belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (i.e. M. tuberculosis, M. bovis, M. africanum, M. microti, M. canetti, M. caprae, and M. pinnipedii) and does not detect 42 other tested related pathogens. It includes a ready-to-use master mix and uses the Xeno internal positive control in a single well, duplex PCR approach.

“In the context of increasing TB prevalence, the field needs diagnostic tools that are easy to handle and provide sensitive, reliable and fast results to help ensure the efficacy of surveillance and control programs,” said Martin Guillet, global head and general manager of AgriBusiness at Thermo Fisher. “The results we present at the EAVLD show that this kit meets these expectations and is in line with our mission of enabling our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”

The PCR-based kit is designed to reduce costs for the farmer and government-funded programs by delivering results typically in three hours instead of several weeks with bacterial culture, thus limiting the spread of infection while also reducing labor in the lab.

“The eradication of bTB is complex and the flexible application of testing schemes will help avoid unnecessary culling and lengthy farm closures, as well as help eliminate the occurrence of bovine TB worldwide,” Guillet said. “We feel this can shorten the overall length of a TB program in a country.”

The VetMAX M. tuberculosis Complex PCR kit is currently in development with registrations pending.