CSU collaborates with Homeland Security
Fort Collins, Colo. - A rapid diagnostic test for seven animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was designed in part by Colorado State University's (CSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
FORT COLLINS, COLO. — A rapid diagnostic test for seven animal diseases including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was designed in part by Colorado State University's (CSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
Those who contributed to the test include U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories, National Animal Health Laboratory Network and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The new test reduces time required to detect the diseases, shortening wait time from days to hours, CSU officials say. The test also simultaneously detects all seven diseases in one sample. It is in the process of being validated by USDA and can process up to 1,000 samples within 10 hours, officials add.
Animal disease experts estimate that the United States would lose up to $3 million for every hour's delay in diagnosing FMD.
The concept of an assay that could test for multiple livestock diseases grew out of the 2001 FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom that resulted in $5 billion in losses to the food and agriculture sector and even greater losses to tourism. About 10 million sheep, pigs and cows were slaughtered. Exports of livestock and animal products that could transmit the virus were banned for several months.
Aside from FMD, the assay tests for bovine viral diarrhea, bovine herpes-1, bovine parapox virus complex, bluetongue, swine vesicular disease and vesicular exanthema of swine.
"This new diagnostic assay will significantly enhance the future security of U.S. agriculture by providing improved technology for animal disease diagnostics," says Tammy Beckham, DHS deputy director of science at Plum Island Animal Disease Center.