Rapid detection of bovine respiratory disease pathogens

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries researchers Rebecca Ambrose and Jenny Gravel are developing tests that are able to rapidly detect bovine respiratory disease pathogens including:

  • bovine herpes virus
  • bovine viral diarrhoea virus
  • mycoplasma bovis and,
  • bovine coronavirus.

These tests can detect these pathogens from nasal swabs (and serum for bovine viral diarrhoea virus) with minimal sample preparation.  The results are available in an hour (although we hope to reduce this turn around even further) and only require a controlled temperature source (at 63-65⁰C). The technology used to detect these pathogens is readily adaptable to other pathogens, in other animals as well as cattle.

We are currently working to further develop these tests with a view to making them available to use in the field. We are seeking feedback from likely end-users of this product as part of the development process.  In particular, the research team would like to know whether producers would find such a test beneficial, which pathogens are the most important from a production perspective and would a test like this help improve disease management in your herd?

The research team is developing an electronic survey to address some of these questions. Responses to these questions will be of enormous benefit in determining whether and how to further develop and refine these tests.  The survey will be available soon through the FutureBeef website.