New chip offers instant diagnostic of nine poultry diseases

A Singapore firm says it has developed a portable “lab on a chip” that can detect nine major poultry diseases from a single sample.

VereVet, working with the country’s agri-food authority, has created a single disposable biochip that takes a drop of blood and will quickly identify a range of common poultry diseases.

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Researchers say it can detect campylobacter, bird flu, Newcastle disease, and two common strains of salmonella.

It uses “lab on a chip” technology, so-called because it compresses several functions of a laboratory into a device just a few millimetres across.

The device’s capability has been verified by the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, according to VereVet. Further details were be published at the 17th International Symposium of the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians on 16 June.

Chief executive of AVA, the agri-food and veterinary authority of Singapore, Ms Tan Poh Hong, said it would strengthen diagnostic tools available to vets. “Singapore is free of bird flu. However it continues to plague other countries in the region as well as other parts of the world. With the emergence of new strains, it may be a challenge to quickly identify the strain in question.

“The new lab-on-chip, capable of rapidly identifying multiple poultry pathogens in one sample, enables authorities to take appropriate actions.”