Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) announced today that it has entered into a license and commercialization agreement with Zoetis to bring AAD’s innovative mastitis detection technology to dairy producers and veterinarians outside of the United States.
AAD’s QScout® MLD (milk leukocyte differential) test helps improve milk quality and production by guiding management and treatment decisions. It detects subclinical mastitis at the individual quarter (mammary gland) level before symptoms are visible so dairy producers can intervene at the earliest stages of mastitis, maximizing animal well-being. The test runs on AAD’s portable lab-in-a-box diagnostic platform, the QScout® Farm Lab, that provides actionable, on-farm test results within minutes per cow.
The agreement builds off a successful pilot program that was launched between the two companies in 2016. Zoetis introduced the QScout MLD technology to veterinarians and dairy producers in key European markets.
“Our mission is to give producers rapid diagnostic information that helps them make better, more profitable decisions. As the largest animal health company in the world, Zoetis is an ideal partner to help us accomplish this mission by bringing the benefits of QScout MLD to dairy producers and veterinarians outside of the US,” said Joy Parr Drach, President and CEO of AAD. “This deal validates our work developing a platform to provide real-time information to detect disease, ensure precise use of antibiotics and improve reproductive, nutritional and overall health status of production animals.”
“We are committed to antibiotic stewardship and the important role that diagnostics can play in helping producers and veterinarians provide the best care for their cows,” said Clint Lewis, Executive Vice President & Group President, International Operations, Commercial Development, Global Genetics and Aquatic Health for Zoetis. “Early and accurate detection -- using technology like QScout MLD – can provide timely information and guide treatment decisions. We look forward to bringing these tools to producers and veterinarians in markets around the world.”
Digital test results on the immune status of each quarter are stored securely through an online portal, which also provides benchmarking information to users.
Mastitis is commonly referred to as the most costly disease in the dairy industry with an economic impact of billions each year through reduced milk production, fertility and milk quality and increased culling. Recent studies show subclinical mastitis is costlier than visible, clinical mastitis.
Unlike traditional mastitis diagnostic tests, the QScout MLD test provides early, precise detection of subclinical infection by identifying and differentiating white blood cells in milk, effectively characterizing the immune system’s first response to infection. The QScout Farm Lab reads the test, looking for elevated cell type ratios that indicate infection to yield an objective, accurate, quarter-level result.
In U.S. trials, QScout MLD has returned approximately $240/infected cow. Cows diagnosed early in lactation and given follow-up treatment produced 1,325 pounds more milk per cow at 305 days mature equivalent than non-treated cows, reduced somatic cell count across the lactation and had 18 percent fewer services per conception and 14 fewer days open.
AAD’s QScout MLD test can also be used as an aid to implement selective dry cow therapy, which is increasingly recognized as a best practice approach. The International Dairy Federation’s annual “Animal Health Report” released in September highlights selective dry cow therapy as the way forward. In U.S. trials, QScout MLD guided selective dry cow therapy led to a 47% reduction in antibiotic use at the cow level and a 59% reduction at the quarter level. In addition to fostering judicious use of antibiotics, early detection of mastitis with QScout MLD promotes animal welfare and improves economic returns.