During the visit, as one of a select number of British agri-tech companies, PBD Biotech will engage with leading agriculture and dairy industry stakeholders at India’s premier Agro-Technology and Trade Show in Chandigarh. The show is organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in partnership with the Government of India’s Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare amongst others.
PBD Biotech’s novel Actiphage assay provides a test for the cost-effective detection of mycobacteria in milk, blood and other tissues samples.
Mycobacteria are a cause of a number of diseases in cattle and other species, such as bovine TB and Johne’s disease, which not only affect animal health but have a significant economic impact on the dairy industry. Hence the need for regular blood and milk testing, to detect, monitor and manage herd-level infection.
There are ongoing investigations into the potential public health risk posed by livestock diseases bovine TB and Johne’s disease.
Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), which causes Johne’s disease, has been implicated in the development of Crohn’s disease in humans* – with the mycobacteria found in the bowel tissue of a proportion of patients with the condition. However, no causal relationship between MAP and the inflammatory bowel condition has been established largely due to the lack of an adequate test.
Given recent safety concerns raised by India’s food regulator, the FSSAI, PBD Biotech believes Actiphage could offer Indian milk producers and processors an effective and powerful assessment tool that could be easily integrated into animal health and production-line procedures.
PBD Biotech’s CEO, Dr Berwyn Clarke, explains, “Actiphage’s high sensitivity and specificity lends itself to playing a key role within food manufacturing, guaranteeing customers the safety and high-quality that is expected from today’s food and drink – be that milk, cheese or ghee.
“The test’s rapid detection method also offers accurate results within hours, rather than weeks, meaning it is a tool that can be used on small farms or integrated as part of large-scale operations.
“Our Actiphage technology is unique, and we’re delighted to be in India discussing its potential with farmers and producers there.”
Actiphage has been successfully used to detect live mycobacteria in raw milk, pasteurised milk, powdered infant formula, cheese and in the blood of infected animals. Other international trials are underway.
* References for the implication of MAP in the development of Crohn’s disease
Bull et al, 2003. Detection and verification of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis in fresh ileocolonic mucosal biopsy specimens from individuals with and without Crohn’s disease. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 41, 2915-2923
Feller et al, 2007. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Crohn’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infectious Diseases. 7, 607-613
Rhodes et al, 2014. Mycobacterium avium Subspecies paratuberculosis: Human Exposure through Environmental and Domestic Aerosols. Pathogens. 3,557-595.