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New test for early TB identification in zoo animals
The Actiphage test offers a new way to detect and manage bTB in zoo animals and wildlife.
Actiphage method detects mycobacteria before clinical symptoms emerge

A new test that can deliver early TB identification in exotics is being discussed at the British Veterinary Zoological Society (BVZS) Congress in Birmingham today (9 November).

The Actiphage test, to be outlined by RVC research fellow Dr Ben Swift, offers a new way to detect and manage bTB in zoo animals and wildlife.

Developed by PBD Biotech, the test can identify bTB and other mycobacterial diseases in animals before clinical symptoms emerge. In comparison to culturing mycobacteria, which can take up to 12 weeks, the test can identify the presence of any mycobacteria in animal blood in as little as six hours.

So far, the technology has been successfully applied to blood samples from 17 different species, including deer, goats and badgers as well as exotic animals such as lions, giraffes and camels. Trials have confirmed PBD Biotech’s assay can detect live mycobacteria in blood or milk samples at very high sensitivity, of less than 10 mycobacterial cells per ml of sample.

“The Actiphage detection method provides a major step change in the detection of viable mycobacteria and has the potential to revolutionise the control and understanding of mycobacterial diseases in zoo animals, wildlife and a range of other species,” explained Dr Swift.
 
“The use of bacteriophage means the test can detect mycobacteria before an immune response is fully developed, giving vets, zoo-keepers and other exotics experts a head-start on the race to catch bTB and other diseases in the hope of preventing the unnecessary cull of protected animals.”

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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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News Shorts
AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.