The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recently approved the registration of the BOVIGAMTM TB Kit from Thermo Fisher Scientific in the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals 2015. It is the only bovine tuberculosis (bTB), Interferon-γ in vitro assay that is OIE-registered. The kit is validated for use in cattle, goat, buffalo (syncerus caffer) and sheep.
“The OIE registration of BOVIGAM is a major step toward a world free of bTB,” said Martin Guillet, global head and general manager of animal health at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “It will help make bTB programs worldwide more efficient and better accepted, in line with the Thermo Fisher Scientific’s mission of enabling our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer.”
According to Guillet, the eradication of bTB is a complex undertaking, and the flexible application of testing schemes will help avoid unnecessary culling, lengthy farm closures and will help reduce the occurrence of bovine TB worldwide. Guillet says this ultimately will save time and money and will increase farmer support for TB control programs.
Battling bTB infection
bTB is a major infectious disease among cattle, other farm animals and certain wildlife populations. It results from infection with Mycobacterium bovis (M bovis) and is transmitted by either respiration or ingestion. It is a significant disease transmissible from animals to humans – a zoonosis -- that can spread to humans through aerosols or by drinking unpasteurized milk or dairy products from infected cows. Since bTB is a chronic disease and usually takes many months for clinical signs to develop, early infections are often asymptomatic, whereas in the later stages, symptoms can include:
• progressive emaciation
• enlargement of lymph nodes.
Previously, a skin test was the only option for screening, which could cause farm operations to be out of the marketplace for up to six months. Now, OIE has validated BOVIGAM to be used as the primary, stand-alone test for screening and confirmation in bTB-infected areas. This will enable faster results and can result in shorter interruptions of animal movement (farms can be back in operation in one week).
“I wish we could have applied BOVIGAM according to claims now approved by the OIE for the detection of the last cases in the Swiss TB eradication program in the 1990s,” said Professor Ulrich Kihm, D.V.M., president of SAFOSO and former chief veterinary officer of Switzerland. “We would have been able to find new infections in Switzerland much faster.”
For more information about the BOVIGAM TB Kit, please visit thermofisher.com/animalhealth.