New sampling method for avian flu detection could prove less costly
According to WorldPoultry.net, a number of poultry industry groups are using a less costly method to collect avian influenza virus samples, thanks to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists. At the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory (SEPRL) in Athens, Ga., scientists conduct studies not only to identify various avian influenza virus strains, but also to determine their origin and whether current tests and vaccines are effective against them. In addition, the scientists investigate the best methods for collecting virus samples from poultry for testing. In the United States, all meat chickens and turkeys must be tested for avian influenza before processing. Sample collection is an important component of this process. The current method used to determine if virus is present works well, but requires placing only one to five swab samples in a tube. Erica Spackman, who works in SEPRL's Exotic and Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research Unit, found that improvements could be made by switching the type of swab used and increasing the number or swabs in each tube. The process reduces the amount of tubes needed and, more importantly, the number of individual tests that are run, which decreases the cost to poultry producers.
The Advantage News - 03/11/2014