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New system to monitor animal health on the farm

An EU-funded research effort has developed a number of assays and tools to monitor animal health without requiring expensive and time-consuming lab analysis.
New system to monitor animal health on the farm
Global demand for animal protein will continue to rise and bring with it an increase in the world's domesticated livestock populations. This means infectious diseases like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and classical and African swine fever will continue to threaten meat industry productivity.

Reliable diagnostic and monitoring tools are crucial to limit this threat. In light of this, the EU-funded RAPIDIA-FIELD (Rapid field diagnostics and screening in veterinary medicine) project aimed to create a number of rapid, on-site tests for livestock, companion animal and wildlife diseases. The tests will allow for simultaneous detection of disease clusters that cause similar clinical syndromes, and will avoid the need for expensive equipment.

RAPIDIA-FIELD created and tested a number of different assays, monitoring systems and diagnostic tests to be used on the farm. These included an early warning system that measures parameters like behaviour and body temperature to detect possible disease outbreaks automatically.

Another aspect of the project focused on sample collection and testing processes that could be completed on the farm with limited equipment. Researchers also developed multiplex diagnostic devices that could be used to test for various diseases, depending on the farmer’s most pressing needs.

Lastly, RAPIDIA-FIELD created simple and rapid pen-side tests to detect antigens and antibodies against swine fever, bluetongue, FMD and African horse sickness.

Currently, up to several months could pass between initial disease outbreak and laboratory confirmation of the exact causes. By enabling accurate diagnosis in the field, RAPIDIA-FIELD innovations will ultimately contribute to sustainable food production and better animal health.

Related information

Keywords

Animal health, livestock, diagnostic and monitoring tools, RAPIDIA-FIELD, veterinary medicine
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