Vets and farmers can now access a new test to help improve the diagnosis of mastitis and respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma bovis.

The TaqVet Mycoplasma Bovis (M bovis) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit is based on a new target gene in the M bovis genome, meaning it can distinguish better between causes of infection. This reduces the risk of false positive results and improves sensitivity and specificity.

The test is based on real-time PCR technology, and delivers results in just two-and-a-half hours.

It is estimated bovine pneumonia costs the European industry about €500m every year, with 30% caused by M bovis. Other diseases associated with the organism include mastitis and arthritis.

The new test was developed by Life Technologies Animal Health (LTAH) in its research laboratory in France.

Eric Sellal, head of animal health Europe Middle East and Africa at LTAH said the improved sensitivity of the test means vets will be able to monitor dairy herds for sub-clinical infection using samples from the bulk tank.

“And of course it can also be used to diagnose mycoplasma infection in individual cases of clinical mastitis and respiratory disease,” he explained.

The TaqVet Mycoplasma Bovis PCR kit will be made available in other EU countries and via Life Technologies Animal Health distributors according to local regulatory requirements. See www.lifetechnologies.com/lsi-animal-health for details.

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