Detecting viral presence in poultry using flockscreen LAMP Avian Influenza Test

The company expects to begin shipping in volume in the third quarter of 2024. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Following rigorous development and testing, leader in molecular sensing and diagnostics, Alveo Technologies, Inc (Alveo) recently announced that the Flockscreen LAMP Avian Influenza Molecular Test was capable of accurately detecting the presence of virus in both cloacal and oropharyngeal samples from poultry with comparable limit of detection, sensitivity and specificity

The HPAI panzootic virus has spread to not only cattle, but at least 47 other mammalian species, resulting in the destruction of more than half a billion poultry worldwide. One among the many significant drawbacks that make current agricultural tests unsuitable for these HPAI use cases, includes the lengthy processing time required to obtain a result from polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, vaccinating birds can cause their serology tests to turn positive despite not being infected. In addition, lateral flow, also known as antigen or instant tests, lacks sensitivity and produces a significant percentage of false negative results.

However, Alveo's portable and rugged molecular diagnostic platform has been designed to provide accurate, rapid test results at the point of need. It functions as a core component of a notifiable disease electronic management ecosystem that the company and its strategic partners have developed to support producers, as well as governmental bodies who are looking to expand the surveillance of important zoonotic pathogens. 

Two multiplexed panels enable the on-site broad detection of Avian Influenza Type A virus (targeting matrix gene) in poultry with differentiation of H5, H7 and H9 subtypes using oropharyngeal or cloacal samples. Both panels contain seven assays, six of which are identical between cartridges. This configuration ensures the greatest coverage of the most clinically relevant global AI strains from the past 5-10 years, through to the current strains. The platform's rugged design enables it to function in the field under extreme conditions, including very hot and near freezing temperatures, following a drop of one metre, and when subjected to movement and vibration, which are common challenges encountered in field settings. 

During their evaluation of over 100 candidate primer sets and assay conditions, Alveo and their development partners performed more than 20,000 reactions on over 4000 assay cartridges using both contrived and clinical samples.

"Our platform makes it simple to test for HPAI in poultry and we will be the first diagnostic of its kind that can test both cloacal and oropharyngeal samples," said CEO of Alveo, Shaun Holt. "Our rugged design enables healthcare providers, veterinarians, growers, and public health officials to obtain rapid results at point of need so they can take immediate action."

The product will be validated and verified by relevant regulatory bodies prior to shipment. Shipping of the product, which is currently available for pre-sale in Europe and the Middle East, is set to begin in the third quarter of 2024.