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The Development and Refinement of Tests Suitable for Accurate Identification of Brucella Infected and Uninfected Animals


The main aim is to develop tests that rapidly and specifically diagnose brucellosis in cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Current tests, used to monitor the disease in the Brucells Eradication Scheme (BES), experience false positive reactions caused by infection with cross-reacting bacteria. In addition, current serology, which could be imported under current testing regimes. The research aims to develop bloodtests that rapidly and specifically detect Brucella infection in cattle, sheep, goats and pigs, based on antibody detection, cellular reactivity and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
This research underpins MAFF's statutory obligation to control and eradite brucellosis from farm animals in the United Kingdom for reasons of animal and public health. Specific tests for brucellosis and tests for latent brucellosis will help protect the substantial investment placed in eradicating the disease frm the UK and in maintaining our Officially Brucellosis Free (BF) status. Improved tests will enable the rapid identification of Brucella infected herds, should the disease be introdued by importation. This will reduce the risk to public and animal health, and minimise the costs associated with clean-up procedures. A Brucella specific test will absolve herds experiencing false positive reactions, thereby making cost savings for MAFF and the farming community who bear the finacial burden of unneccessary livestock restrictions and re-testing.

Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK
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