PBD Biotech have developed a highly sensitive and specific blood test called Actiphage to detect for bovine TB. Actiphage is a non-validated test for TB on cattle and will require further testing before it can be approved for standard veterinary use in the UK, however it has been accepted for exceptional private use in England, a decision by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) which is considered to be a positive step towards tackling bovine TB. This allows a private veterinary surgeon to request APHA permission for use where herds have experienced persistent breakdowns, which will in turn help to build the evidence required for official validation by the World Organisation for Animal Health.
Dr Berwyn Clarke, CEO of PBD Biotech said: “In situations where a farm has had an ongoing chronic bovine TB problem, APHA’s protocol offers a promising new approach to controlling the infection.
“PBD Biotech have developed a highly sensitive and specific blood test called Actiphage to detect for bovine TB“
“Actiphage is now included within a series of measures that farmers can use in conjunction with their vet and with specific APHA approval as a means to improving their disease management strategy. For many farms that have been struggling for years it provides the first step to becoming TB free. This move by the APHA is a really positive step towards tackling this devastating disease.”
Dr Clarke added: “Actiphage is unique in directly detecting live mycobacteria in blood or milk, and it can also distinguish between a vaccinated and an infected animal - paving the way for new types of disease control when vaccines become available in the future. We are working with international governments, and the test is being trialled on bovine, ovine as well as exotic species, but we appreciate it is new to the UK market so we’re keen to answer any queries vets or farmers may have.”