SureFarm providing Bovine Tuberculosis Diagnostics using the Enferplex test to the animal health industry

Tuberculosis Surveillance, How the scheme works

It is important to note that the following has been approved by Defra. Where the Enferplex has been used, the scheme would be administered by Surefarm Ltd, who would liaise with Enfer Scientific and MV diagnostics.

Scenario 1: Camelid owners undertaking voluntary routine TB surveillance (vrs) as part of a scheme promoted by the industry.

Annual whole herd testing (in large herds a statistically derived proportion would be acceptable) utilising the Enferplex antibody test (and interpretation using the statistical package or via serial IDEXX and Statpak via APHA across the whole UK is proposed.

Although there is currently evidence of a geographical distribution of the confirmed breakdowns, due to extensive historical movements within the national Camelid herd it is proposed to test all herds annually until evidence emerges to justify differential geographical approaches.

It is strongly recommended but not mandatory that participants prime animals prior to such testing via the use of 0.1ml of an intra-dermal injection of bovine Tuberculin 10-30 daysto promote an anamnestic response. It is important to note that there is NO need to measure/read the outcome of this injection, it is purely being used to boost the antibody response prior to blood sampling.

Proposed methodology

  1. Voluntary Routine Surveillance date falls due: Enferplex test is performed with or without priming with tuberculin.
  2. All test results negative: No action other than to schedule next test
  3. If any animals are found test positive then either: -
  1. Where herd defined as positive at confidence level agreed with Defra on the statistical package, then Surefarm to pass details to APHA. The clients veterinary surgeon will be informed to notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.
  2. If inconclusive, there should isolation of the inconclusive animals and a re-test performed within 30 to 60 days of the original test. If all these animals are negative on re-testing, then the herd is considered clear and the herd would revert to routine annual surveillance testing. If any positives are found on the antibody re-test, then Surefarm to pass details to APHA and the clients veterinary surgeon who will be informed to notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.
  1. If following APHA investigation, typical visible lesions and/or a positive M. bovis culture result are found then full herd investigation by Defra will occur. If no infection is confirmed, then movement restrictions will be maintained and a repeat whole herd test at 60 days will be performed.

Results of subsequent actions e.g. culling to be reported back by Defra to Surefarm Ltd (owner permission needed) to help feedback and further refining of the Enferplex test.

Scenario 2: Domestic movements (e.g. showing, purchase or matings)

Owners would pre- or post-movement test camelids moved out of herds, utilising the Enferplex antibody test (and interpretation using the statistical package or via serial IDEXX and Statpak, unless the herd is certified as bovine TB (bTB) free as part of an envisaged future voluntary surveillance scheme.

Shows, which should already adhere to general biosecurity guidelines, (which help prevent transfer of mange mite, BVD etc) should adopt the segregation, in penning and access, of those animals in and out of the surveillance scheme. It is recommended that individual alpacas attending shows are tested prior to the first show and then kept in on-farm isolation until the end of the show season..

Proposed methodology

1. Voluntary Routine Surveillance date falls due: Enferplex test is performed with or without priming with tuberculin.
2. All test results negative: No action other than to schedule next test
3. If any animals are found test positive then either: -

(a) Where herd defined as positive at confidence level agreed with Defra on the statistical package, then Surefarm will pass details to APHA.  The clients veterinary surgeon will informed to notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.

(b) If inconclusive, there should isolation of the inconclusive animals and a re-test performed within 30 to 60 days of the original test. If all these animals are negative on re-testing, then the herd is considered clear and e herd would revert to routine annual surveillance testing. If any 4 antigen positives are found on the antibody re-test, then Surefarm to pass details to APHA and the clients veterinary surgeon  will  notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.

4. If following APHA investigation, typical visible lesions and/or a positive M. bovis culture result are found then full herd investigation by Defra will occur. If no infection is confirmed, then movement restrictions will be maintained and a repeat whole herd test at 60 days will be performed.

Results of subsequent actions e.g. culling to be reported back by Defra to Surefarm Ltd (owner permission needed) to help feedback and further refining of the Enferplex test.

Scenario 3: Exports

Owners should pre- export test camelids using comparative skin test (as demanded by international legislation) and at the same time an Enferplex (or another antibody test) less than 30 days prior to export

It is strongly recommended but not mandatory that participants prime animals prior to such testing via the use of 0.1ml of an intra-dermal injection of bovine Tuberculin 10-30 daysto promote an anamnestic response. It is important to note that there is NO need to measure/read the outcome of this injection, it is purely being used to boost the antibody response prior to blood sampling.

Proposed methodology

1. Voluntary Routine Surveillance date falls due: Enferplex test is performed with or without priming with tuberculin.

2. All test results negative: No action other than to schedule next test

3. If any animals are found test positive then either: -

(a) Where herd defined as positive at confidence level agreed with Defra on the statistical package, then Surefarm / client’s practice to pass details to APHA and the clients veterinary surgeon who will be informed to notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.

(b) If inconclusive, there should isolation of the inconclusive animals and a re-test performed within 30 to 60 days of the original test. If all these animals are negative on re-testing, then the herd is considered clear and e herd would revert to routine annual surveillance testing. If any positives are found on the antibody re-test, then Surefarm to pass details to APHA and the clients veterinary surgeon who will be informed to notify their local APHA office. This APHA office will decide on appropriate actions on the test positive animals, based on the herd’s location, biosecurity and TB testing history.

4. If following APHA investigation, typical visible lesions and/or a positive M. bovis culture result are found then full herd investigation by Defra will occur. If no infection is confirmed, then movement restrictions will be maintained and a repeat whole herd test at 60 days will be performed.

Results of subsequent actions e.g. culling to be reported back by Defra to Surefarm Ltd (owner permission needed) to help feedback and further refining of the Enferplex test.

Scenario 4 Herds diagnosed with or under suspicion of being infected with bovine tuberculosis

THIS WILL NOT BE ADMISTERED BY SUREFARM Ltd but by Defra/APHA