SINGAPORE - A poultry 'biochip' has been launched that can detect nine major poultry diseases using a single sample applied to the portable, disposable chip.
Scientists from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Veredus Laboratories, a supplier of molecular diagnostic tools, have been working on the chip since 2010.
The biochip is known as 'VereVet', and was described by the developers in a joint statement as a portable Lab-on-Chip application that can detect, differentiate and identify nine major poultry infectious disease agents.
Unlike the conventional method of testing which requires different samples for different tests, the portable Lab-on-Chip application is able to detect multiple infectious disease agents affecting poultry using only one sample.
These disease agents include Newcastle Disease virus, Salmonella pullorum, Salmonella enteritidis, campylobacter and avian influenza virus. The chip is able to detect all avian influenza virus types, but places special emphasis on differentiating H5, H7 and H9.
Dr Huangfu Taoqi, Principal Scientist at the Animal Health Laboratory of AVA, led a team to validate the performance of the new technology, conducted at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Australia. Scientific details will be presented at the 17th International Symposium of World Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians in Saskatoon, Canada, on 16 June 2015.
Emphasising the significance of the breakthrough especially in view of the economic and trade impact of bird flu, the CEO of AVA, Ms Tan Poh Hong, said: “Singapore is free from bird flu. However it continues to plague other countries in the region as well as other parts of the world.
"With the emergence of new strains, it may be a challenge to quickly identify the strain in question. The new Lab-on-Chip, capable of rapidly identifying multiple poultry pathogens in one sample, enables authorities to take appropriate actions. This will, in turn, strengthen animal and public health for the region.”
“Veredus is proud to collaborate with AVA on this project to develop a chip to detect Poultry Diseases”, said Dr Rosemary Tan, CEO of Veredus Laboratories.
“Veredus has developed other chips to detect human and bio-terror infectious diseases and is pleased to now introduce a chip for the detection of Poultry Diseases and related sample sources.
"We continue to look for partners where multiplexing molecular testing can provide a solution to animal and public health issues.”
Find out more about the diseases mentioned by clicking here.