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Smiths Detection to launch a portable diagnostic system for foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu
Date:10/14/2007

PINE BROOK, N.J. (Oct. 13, 2007) Smiths Detection, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, today announces it is to launch a portable detection system that will enable veterinarians to carry out on-site diagnosis of animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth and avian flu. This new technology means vets will be able to diagnose diseases in livestock and birds in the field in less than 90 minutes rather than having to send samples for laboratory analysis.

The initial focus of the technology will be on identifying foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu with a wide range of tests for other diseases to be made available after the initial systems are deployed. Smiths Detection has been working with the global reference centre for foot-and-mouth disease the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) to develop and validate the system.

The new portable device is specifically designed to be used by vets wherever livestock are kept and comprises a simple-to-use sample preparation cartridge and a rugged portable instrument. The technology employed is a novel form of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a well established technique for the detection and analysis of infectious diseases.

Smiths Detection has been supplying field-based PCR systems for bioterrorism applications for many years. The new generation of instruments, building on this experience, is designed to run in harsh environments and, unlike typical laboratory PCR machines, requires no setting up by the operator between each test.

A wide variety of veterinary sample types can be analysed by the instrument and up to five independent tests can be run simultaneously. An analysis of the infection is available in under 90 minutes, enabling the vet to take swift action. The instrument can be decontaminated at the location, a critical feature in the control of disease outbreaks.

For the last three years, Smiths Detection has worked closely with the laboratory of Professor
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Contact: Irene Abrams
iabrams@brandeis.edu
781-736-2176
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

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