November 4th, Libourne – Q fever is a highly contagious zoonosis, that also has a strong negative impact on the health and reproductive performance of dairy farms.
Recent surveys suggest that Coxiella burnetii, the bacteria responsible for Q fever, is present on at least half of European dairy farms. However, as the disease is mostly insidious and the diagnosis can be quite challenging, only a small percentage of farmers know that Q fever is present in their farms.
In an effort to build awareness on this dangerous but preventable disease, Ceva’s ruminant team has developed a new diagnostic tool – the QTest.
The QTest is based on the use of the established FTA® technology, that fixates and inactivates the bacteria on sample collection cards, making it ready to be sent safely by conventional post mail without the need to refrigerate.
A paper published recently online by the Journal of Dairy Science1, the world’s leading peer-reviewed dairy research journal, presents evidence from validation trials that show Ceva’s QTest is an effective and practical approach to the diagnosis of Q fever in dairy herds. The authors demonstrated that QTest cards spotted with milk samples known to be contaminated with Coxiella burnetii were stable at temperatures up to 37°C for 29 days, and that in PCR tests conducted using milk samples stored for up to 14 days, detection was higher for the QTest cards than for raw milk.
Philippe Gisbert, Ceva’s Ruminants Global Technical Manager, highlights: “To our knowledge, it is the first time that FTA® technology has been used for the diagnosis of Q Fever using bulk tank milk as sample matrix. This tool offers a breakthrough innovation to farmers and veterinarians, by making the diagnosis easier and therefore increasing awareness of the disease and leading to better management of the disease in herds as well as better zoonotic risk management.”
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