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IAH Looks to Develop Schmallenberg Antibody Test

23 March 2012

UK - The Institute of Animal Health (IAH)is looking to develop a test that would increase the understanding of where and how Schmallenberg is moving about, reports Charlotte Johnston, TheCattleSite editor.

Nancy Mendoza, IAH said that developing this test is a priority for the Institute. She explained that adult livestock can be clear of the virus within two to three days, which makes detecting it very difficult. There are also few symptoms in adult cattle and so it is only apparent whether livestock have been affected or not when offpsring are born.

If the animal has had the virus is can be assumed that the animal has developed antibodies against it. Identifying these antibodies through a blood test is a much faster and efficient way of monitoring the virus, she explained.

Ms Mendoza said that one of the advantages of this is that it gives the industry an understanding of what is going on, and it may help towards future management of the disease. For example it might be possible for producers to change the time of year at which animals are bred, to minimise risks of the virus.

Ms Mendoza said that the development of such a tool was still in the early stages. "The development of this test is a couple of months off, and after that the test will have to be verified for efficacy and saftey etc," she said.

Ms Mendoza said that IAH had heard that a similar test had been developed by a French firm, although didn't have any further details on the matter.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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