Tetracore unveils VetAlert diagnostic test kit for cattle, swine, and sheep

The Tetracore real-time PCR test was validated for use in epithelial and serum samples. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Tetracore has introduced the first USDA-licensed real-time PCR test for the detection of foot and mouth disease in cattle, pigs and sheep

It is one of the first licensed FMD diagnostic kits to be manufactured in the continental US, critical to a rapid response in the event of a FMD outbreak. Additionally, this diagnostic kit provides animal health professionals with an essential tool to mitigate the potentially catastrophic economic and animal welfare impacts of a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

The VetAlert FMDV RNA High Throughput Test Kit was developed by Tetracore scientists and will be marketed and sold by Tetracore.

Nearly two decades ago, Tetracore validated and published a real-time RT-PCR assay for foot-and-mouth disease virus, as described by Callahan et al. 2002. The primer and probe set in the publication became part of the OIE and USDA reference test methods.

“It is well known that RNA viruses mutate and evolve, and it is for this reason that established PCR test designs must be periodically re-evaluated to ensure that test designs remain fit for purpose,” said Dr Callahan, business development manager and USDA CVB Contact for Tetracore.

With this in mind, Tetracore evaluated contemporary FMD viral sequences to design a new primer-probe set that was combined with the original test to create an updated rRT-PCR test for FMD virus, the Kit de VetAlert RNA test for FMDV.

The updated test design was validated after studies by the Pirbright Institute in the UK and the National Centre for Exotic Animal Diseases (NCFAD) in Winnipeg, Canada, and showed good performance compared to their reference test methods.