Rapid Field Diagnostics and Screening in Veterinary Medicine

This proposal addresses the call under KBBE.2011.1.3-02: Development of field test for rapid screening of pathologies as well as simple laboratory test in animals.

Sustainable food production capable of feeding a growing global population is a significant challenge that is faced by agricultural industries throughout the world. The demand for safe, efficient and high quality animal protein will rise significantly over the next decade with a concomitant increase in the world population of domesticated livestock. Infectious diseases continue to impact upon the productivity of farm animals and threats of disease incursions are further increased by the globalised trade of animals and animal products. Rapid and reliable diagnostic systems can play an integral role in the detection, monitoring, control and subsequent eradication of animal diseases and pathologies.

This proposal will develop and bring to market new tools to achieve effective diagnosis of livestock, companion animal and wildlife diseases. The project RAPIDIA-FIELD will develop multiplex pen-side tests that can be used to support local decision-making by animal health practitioners. These tests will be simple to perform, robust, inexpensive and also provide unambiguous results for easy reporting. This concept also includes work to develop test formats for use in non-specialised front-line laboratories.

In addition to the development of the specific tests and assay platforms, the project will also consider how these tests will be used in the field or in local laboratories, and how data generated by the assays will integrate with other new (and existing) systems that contribute to the diagnosis, monitoring, control and subsequent eradication of animal diseases. Aspects of this work will include real-time monitoring on line of animal health on farms to collect parameters such as feed consumption and water intake as well as using thermography or thermal chip to look for early signs of clinical disease. Together with the data generated by the assays, reporting protocols will also be established to ensure that the critical information collected is correctly archived and is traceable to international quality standards.

The project will also pay some attention to new technologies and protocols only carried out in sophisticated  laboratories. The idea of this work is to position animal health in a new frontier of science that will maximise our chance to identify new diseases and problems before they become overt health threats.

Concluding, the proposed strategy is devoted to define, develop and bring to the society products and services that contribute to Animal Health control at field level.

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