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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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New ‘accurate and affordable’ Johne’s disease test

Johne’s disease test

A biotechnology company in New Zealand, Pictor Limited, claims to have successfully developed an “accurate, affordable and multiplexed” diagnostic test for Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP) – also known as Johne’s disease.

The in-vitro diagnostics firm believes that the test could save the New Zealand dairy industry more than $80 million per annum in lost production alone.

Pictor is spearheading the project in collaboration with Dr. Rao Dukkipati, a senior lecturer at Massey University.

It builds on long-term research at Massey University by Associate Professor Alan Murray.

Pictor received a grant to the tune of $404,040 from the New Zealand Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund to develop the test.

Pictor has filed a PCT application for this multiplexed assay.

How does it work?

According to the firm, the PictArray multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technology allows scientists to test multiple biomarkers in a single well.

This feature increases the information clinical testing laboratory gains, enabling what it says is improved disease management on-farm.

The firm explained that conventional ELISA takes a snapshot of a disease at one moment in time.

Meanwhile, PictArray multiplex allows researchers to monitor complex diseases through different stages of infection using biomarkers that present at different time points during the infection cycle, including asymptomatic stages.

It says the benefits of its multiplex are:

  • Higher sensitivity;
  • Faster throughput;
  • Reduced turn-around time.

Furthermore, the firm highlighted that earlier detection of Johne’s disease would allow for removing infected animals from herds sooner, minimizing transmission.

Pictor’s Director of Research and Development, Dr. Natasha Gordon, said:

“The PictArray™ MAP assay would be a positive addition to national control programs to help in the eradication of Johne’s disease from the dairy industry.”

“Our PictArray MAP assay could facilitate improved biosecurity and support trade.”

“Tests can be performed quickly and accurately when importing, exporting, or moving livestock and associated products between local locations, resulting in safe transportation without the risk of spreading infection,” Dr Gordon concluded.

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