Field test kit for FMD

Smiths Detection, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, has announced 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 (FMD) and avian influenza (AI).

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 FMD and AI, 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 Institute for Animal Health (IAH) to develop and validate the system.

The technology firm is also working to develop additional assays for the same instrument, including one to detect the blue-tongue virus. Stephen Phipson, group managing director of Smiths Detection, said: "We are putting laboratory science into the hands of vets. Together we will play a vital role in the future detection and management of animal disease outbreaks."

The new system will be launched to vets at the World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians conference in Australia, in November 2007, and is

expected to be in production

by mid-2008.

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