To discuss alternative approaches, the British Cattle Veterinary Association (BVCA) has invited Dr Cath Rees, Associate Professor of Microbiology at the University of Nottingham and Chief Scientific Officer at PBD Biotech, developers of Actiphage, to speak at the BVCA Congress 14-16 October 2021.
Dr Rees says: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to discuss the role of Actiphage in the future of bTB diagnosis.
“Tuberculosis is a complex disease that has different phases as it progresses through the animal. We see Actiphage as another tool as part of a combination of approach to better manage the disease.”
The limitations of the Single Intradermal Comparative Cervical Test, (SICCT) which is currently used in the UK, were outlined in an independent review led by Professor Sir Charles Godfray (2018).
SICCT measures the immune response of the animal, rather than detecting the presence of the mycobacteria and actual infection. Therefore, the skin test may miss cattle that are in the early stages of infection that have not yet developed a strong immune response to the infection and also give a false positive results for animals that have been vaccinated.
The session will look at alternative approaches for testing for bTB :-
- Actiphage, which directly identifies the presence of the mycobacteria in blood or milk,
- Enferplex and Idexx that identify the presence of antibodies created by the animal’s immune response.
The Actiphage assay allows genomic DNA to be recovered from the mycobacteria so that it can be used in PCR assays to sensitively and accurately identify any mycobacteria present in the blood sample.
The Actiphage method allows routine detection of less than 5 mycobacterial cells in blood within 6 hours and therefore is more sensitive than other PCR-based methods.
By confirming the presence of M. bovis at very early stages of infection, often before the animal has developed a full immune response, Actiphage enables infected animals to be identified earlier as part of a disease management strategy.
It can also be used as a DIVA tests to support the introduction of a vaccine which would provide the ultimate protection of herds.
BCVA Congress 2021, 14th – 16th October 2021
The Celtic Manor Resort, South Wales, NP18 1HQ