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New Johne's Test Means Faster Results

11 December 2012

AUSTRALIA - The battle against Johne's disease has taken a turn as scientists have discovered a test that is expected to cut down waiting period for results from two months down to one week, reports ABC Rural.

A new test for Johne's disease in sheep and cattle will slash the wait for results from three months to one week according to an ABC Rural report.

The wasting disease is a highly infectious bacteria that can live in the soil and can kill up to 25 per cent of a sheep flock.

There's been a rare outbreak of the bovine version in Queensland, on a cattle stud near Rockhampton.

Current testing for Johne's bacteria takes more than three months, which farmers complain is too long.

Professor Richard Whittington, chair of farm animal health at Sydney University, says a breakthrough in DNA technology makes the OJD test quicker and more sensitive. "(It) will cut the time to diagnosis based on a faecal sample from three months, potentially, to one week.

"This removes one of the great impediments to testing for Johne's disease which is the huge anxiety that can be accompanied by this delay."

Pending approval, the test should be available early next year, and be the same cost as the current test.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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