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FMD Test Differentiates Vaccinates And Infections

23 June 2008

Researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) animal health lab have developed a new test for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that involves no infectious viral material and can differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals, reports ScienceAlert.com.

It’s said the test could transform how FMD is controlled in the future, because of its low cost and the fact it doesn’t require infectious virus to produce the reagents.

The British government decided against using vaccines to control a major outbreak in 2001, because the tests available to them could not distinguish between infected and vaccinated animals. So, vaccinated animals would look like they were infected and would have to be treated in the same way. The outbreak was finally contained only after the slaughter of more than six million animals. Most were not infected. 

"Our test is the first in the world to be built entirely from non-living materials produced in the laboratory," says Janine Muller, who developed the test with CSIRO colleagues.



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