Social enterprise Global Access Diagnostics (GADx) has joined a collaboration that advances the development of RaDiCal, a one-step molecular lateral flow test to enable rapid diagnosis of pneumonia, especially in calves. One of the most significant diseases affecting calves, pneumonia costs the UK cattle industry an estimated £50 million a year(1)
Including representatives from the University of Surrey, University of Glasgow, Cardiff University and Westpoint Farm Vets, the consortium combines expertise in microbiology, veterinary infectious disease and diagnostic test development to create the new test, which can be linked to a digital mobile phone platform. for easy interpretation of results. This allows farmers and veterinarians to diagnose calves on the farm and then take quick and informed action to facilitate improved disease management and support responsible antibiotic stewardship.
The project, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), follows GADx’s participation in a BBSRC Endemic Livestock Disease Priming Partnerships Workshop and was driven by challenges faced by farmers,
Dr Alison Wakeham, Head of Agriculture and Animal Health, GADx, said: “GADx’s expertise in lateral flow technology enables us to support a variety of disease areas. By applying our platform to the livestock industry, we are delighted to be able to help improve disease management for one of the most significant diseases affecting calves. Working alongside other experts in this field through the consortium and with the support of BBSRC funding, we look forward to progressing the project and the transformative trial on the bringing to market The ability to accurately diagnose and treat early in the disease cycle is critical to controlling spread and outbreaks.
Professor Mark Chambers, Professor of Microbiology and Disease Intervention, University of Surrey, who is leading the project, commented: “The University of Surrey is delighted to lead the RaDiCal project and will use its experience in veterinary infectious diseases and test development within an exciting consortium of other academics and representatives from industry, large animal veterinary practice and farmers themselves at the sharp end of the management of calf pneumonia. Through this close partnership and ongoing consultation we will ensure that we develop a test that meets the needs of the cattle industry.
Abi Reader, Project Partner, Dairy Farmer, Goldsland Farm, Chair NFU Cymru Milk Board and Chair CHeCS, added: “Calf pneumonia places a huge burden on UK dairy farmers, causing increased veterinary costs and farming losses. RaDiCal will help reduce this impact and d ‘Supporting farmers by enabling early intervention and improved calf welfare.
To support this research, the University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine is looking for veterinary surgeons who work with calves to share their experiences with the use of diagnostic tests and management of calf pneumonia.
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and (1) Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board more information online