Social enterprise Global Access Diagnostics (GADx) has entered into a collaboration that will advance the development of RadiCal, a one-step molecular lateral flow test for the rapid diagnosis of pneumonia, particularly 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 is combining expertise in microbiology, veterinary infectious disease and diagnostic test development to create the new test, which can be linked to a digital platform mobile phone. for easy interpretation of results. This will enable farmers and vets to diagnose calves on farm and take quick and informed action afterwards 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 the BBSRC’s Livestock Endemic Disease Core Partnerships workshop and was driven by challenges set out by farmers,
Dr Alison Wakeham, Head of Agriculture and Animal Health, GADx, said: “GADx’s expertise in lateral flow technology allows us to support a range of disease areas. By implementing our platform within the livestock industry, we are pleased to be able to help improve disease management for one of the most significant diseases affecting calves. Working with other experts in this field through the consortium and supported by BBSRC funding, we look forward to progressing the project and bringing the transformative test to market. Accurate diagnosis and treatment early in the disease cycle is critical to preventing spread and controlling outbreaks.”
Professor Mark Chambers, Professor of Microbiology and Disease Intervention, University of Surrey, who is leading the project, said: “The University of Surrey is delighted to be leading the RaDiCal project and will be using its experience in disease veterinary constructs and test development within. an exciting consortium of other academics and representatives from industry, from large animal veterinary practice and farmers themselves on the sharp end of managing 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, NFU Cymru Dairy Board Chair and CHeCS Chair, said: “Calf pneumonia places a huge burden on UK dairy farmers, causing increased veterinary costs and farming losses. Radical will help reduce this impact and support 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 veterinarians who work with puppies to share their experience of using diagnostic tests and managing puppy pneumonia.
More information online
and (1) the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board more information online