Social enterprise Global Access Diagnostics (GADx) has joined a collaboration to advance the radical one-step molecular lateral flow test for rapid diagnosis of pneumonia, especially in calves. One of the most important diseases affecting calves, pneumonia costs the UK cattle industry an estimated £50 million a year (1).
The consortium, including representatives from the University of Surrey, the University of Glasgow, Cardiff University and West Point Farm Vets, will combine experts in microbiology, animal infectious disease and diagnostic test development to create the new test, which can be linked to a mobile digital platform. Easy interpretation of results. This allows farmers and veterinarians to diagnose calves on farms and take quick, informed action to support improved disease control and responsible antibiotic stewardship.
Funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), this project saw GADx participate in the BBSRC Endemic Animal Disease Priming Partnerships workshop and was driven by challenges identified by farmers.
Dr Alison Wakeham, Agricultural and Animal Health, GADx, said: “GADx’s expertise in lateral flow technology enables us to support a wide range of disease areas. We are excited to be able to implement a platform in the livestock industry to improve disease control for one of the most important diseases affecting calves. Working together with other experts in this field and with BBSRC funding, we look forward to expanding the project and bringing the transformative challenge to the market. Being able to diagnose and treat the disease early in the disease cycle is critical to preventing transmission and controlling outbreaks.
Professor Mark Chambers, Professor of Microbiology and Disease Intervention at the University of Surrey, who is leading the project, said: “The University of Surrey is delighted to be leading this radical project and will benefit from its expertise in animal infectious diseases and test development. An interesting combination of other academics and representatives of industry, large veterinary medicine and farmers themselves as they arrive at the management of calf pneumonia. Through this close partnership and ongoing consultation, we ensure that we develop a test that meets the needs of the cattle industry.
Abby Reader, Project Partner, Dairy Farmer, Goldsland Farm, Chair of the NFU Cymru Milk Board and Chair CCS, added: “Calf fever places a huge burden on UK dairy farmers, resulting in increased animal costs and farm losses. RaDiCal helps reduce this impact and support farmers with early intervention and improved calf welfare.
To support this research, the University of Surrey’s Veterinary School is looking for veterinarians working with calves to share their experience in the use of diagnostic tests and the management of calf pneumonia.
More information online
and (1) Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board additional information online