Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Novel method for less invasive foot-and-mouth testing
Foot-and-mouth disease costs an estimated US $11 billion per year in direct losses and vaccinations.

Study highlights potential of analysing milk from storage tanks

A novel, less-invasive method of carrying out testing for foot-and-mouth-disease virus (FMDV) has been developed by researchers at The Pirbright Institute.

Writing in the journal Veterinary Methodology, researchers describe the technique, which involves using milk from bulk tanks or milk tanks. Their results suggest that testing milk samples could aid disease surveillance before and after disease outbreaks.

Foot-and-mouth disease costs an estimated US $11 billion per year in direct losses and vaccinations. When outbreaks occur in countries that are usually FMDV-free, the impact is particularly devastating.

Control of FDMV is reliant on the rapid and accurate detection of the virus. Current tests often use blood or tissue samples, which can be invasive and require the expertise of an animal health professional.

Researchers say the new method could be applied to disease surveillance in dairy herds, as testing of milk tanker samples could be sensitive enough to identify an infected cow in herds of up to 1000 individuals.

The test produces a result in as little as four hours and can identify the virus up to 28 days after the animal becomes infected - far longer than what is afforded by traditional methods. Researchers say this makes it a promising surveillance tool for use during potential outbreaks in FMDV-free countries.

Sampling from milk storage tanks also eliminates the need to test animals individually and does not require a veterinary surgeon to be called out for sampling. As such, this reduces the cost of testing and prevents animals from getting stressed.

“Milk is already used as a surveillance tool for a number of diseases, such as bovine viral diarrhoea and brucellosis, so it makes sense to investigate this approach for the detection of FMDV,” said Bryony Armson, first author of the research. “We were able to detect virus in milk from FMD infected cows during a real outbreak, and virus could be detected for a longer period in milk than in serum.

“We have also shown this FMD detection method can detect the virus in dilutions equivalent to those that would be present in bulk milk storage, highlighting the potential for milk to be used as a surveillance sample.”

The study was conducted with partners at the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, USA. 

Image (C) The Pirbright Institute

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

New online dental resource for vets and horse owners

News Story 1
 The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has launched a new online dental resource for vets and horse owners.

The veterinary section of the resource is aimed at primary practice equine vets who are performing dentals for clients as part of a routine care programme. Information includes 'how to perform a thorough oral exam,' guidelines for charting, and a list of BEVA equine vets with postgraduate qualifications in equine dentistry.

Free to BEVA members, the new resource is supported by a range of practical courses, veterinary CPD, workshops and webinars. To find out more visit the BEVA website 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Vet school runs event for aspiring vets and nurses

Bristol Veterinary School is hosting an event for aspiring vets and vet nurses, to allow them to experience life as a student and find out what itís like to work in veterinary medicine. The one-day event, called VetQuest, will be held at the Langford Campus and includes a tour, talks on admissions and work experience, and the chance to take part in practical sessions. Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the event is primarily aimed at 11-12 year olds and costs £50, including lunch. There are a limited number of subsidised tickets for £10. To book, visit VetQuest 2018