Veterinarians Demand Faster Diagnostics

FRANCE - Speed and accuracy are the key features that veterinarians and farmers want from diagnostic tests, a new Europe wide survey has revealed.
calendar icon 10 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

More than 334 individuals from 8 countries were asked about their current usage and knowledge of diagnostics, and asked what they would like to see in the future. Greater accuracy was the number one need among veterinarians, mentioned by 37 per cent, followed by more speed (22 per cent); cost savings (16 per cent) and greater confidence in the results (8 per cent) were other features that they would like to see improved.

The survey, which was commissioned by global biotechnology company Life Technologies, showed that most test results are currently available in one to three days, but still a significant proportion have to wait three to six days for results (39 per cent) or even more than six days (20 per cent). Only 10 per cent currently get their results within 24 hours.

Although many of the vets were aware of modern molecular diagnostics tests such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which generally offer quicker results than culture testing, most did not know which were used most often. The vast majority of farmers were happy to leave the decision on type of diagnostics test to their veterinarian.

"The results show that veterinarians are looking for the speed and accuracy that modern molecular diagnostics, such as PCR, can provide," said Frederic Bar, Sr. Marketing Manager EMEA at Life Technologies, "but this technology is still not being used as widely as it could be."

One way in which veterinarians could get faster, more accurate-results would be to specify PCR when they submit samples to diagnostic laboratories, he said.

"Diagnostics have really moved on in recent years and the modern tests can give very reliable results, often in just one day, so veterinarians and farmers can make herd health decisions more quickly."

The survey found that BVD, IBR and MAP tests were the most commonly used in cattle, while PRRS, Influenza A and Salmonella topped the list for swine. For sheep and goats, Salmonella, MAP and Chlamydia were the most frequently mentioned tests; for horses, EHV, equine infectious anaemia and Salmonella were most common. Avian influenza was by far the most commonly tested disease in poultry.

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