A new diagnostic test for bovine tuberculosis (TB) will accurately identify the presence of the disease in herds without the need for laboratory equipment.
bTBscreen+ is a new approach to the monitoring and testing of bovine TB. The rapid, point-of-use test is based on lateral flow technology, allowing anyone in the herd management and supply chain to use it for frequent and routine screening of the disease.
It can also be used with other animals at risk from bTB infection, such as badgers, deer and camels.
The new tests have been made possible through the discovery of unique ‘biomarkers’ – molecules found in blood or other body fluids that can indicate the presence of a particular disease – by scientists working at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University.
Their development has been supported by funding of around £2 million, including investment from academics, founders, the Welsh Government Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) scheme, National Health Service Wales, and a £1 million development grant from Innovate UK and the Canadian Government.
A diagnostics company based in Wales, iOmics Ltd.,, is currently seeking seed funding to take the test to market.
Ian Bond, co-founder of the business who also founded medtech company Bond Digital Health, said:
“In the fast-changing world of the 21st century, we face major new challenges in human and animal health, food and agriculture.
“iOmics was set up to meet those challenges by turning world-class research into game-changing diagnostics.
“Our first lateral flow-based diagnostic tests will deliver easy-to-use, low-cost and rapid, accurate results without the need for laboratories, and will have huge impacts in animal health.”