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Test for poultry infection

test for poultry infection

A team of scientists lead by Brunel University London are developing a molecular test and a smartphone app that, when used together, can detect six key pathogens in poultry[9]. Backed by £615,000 from the UK government’s Newton Fund, Brunel will work with the University of Surrey and Lancaster University to develop the tests over the next three years.

The new hand-held device and smartphone app will be tested by farmers in the Philippines but could subsequently be rolled out to farmers in other developing countries. It should help farmers act fast before disease can spread and potentially infect people. It also cuts out the need to send samples away for expensive laboratory tests.

Farmers in the Philippines will collect samples from their birds using a large-matchbox-sized instrument that screens the DNA and RNA. The device connects wirelessly to the app to display the results, which can also feed into a central store to help track outbreaks across the islands. The whole process takes less than an hour.

Near-patient molecular diag­nostics have been very important in improving human health, but such technology in animal health on farms is less advanced. Hundreds of thousands of people in the Philippines and other poorer countries make a living farming poultry, so disease outbreaks can devastate their economies.

Standard molecular tests do not work well for developing countries. Equipment is expensive, mobile instruments are rare and laboratory results can take hours or days. This new test could be of real benefit to the poultry industry, especially in low and middle-income countries.



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