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

SureTest

SureTest Ltd has been created to focus on advising Sure Farm Ltd on testing for TB and other diseases in a variety of species. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MV Diagnostics Ltd. The directors are Professor Gordon Harkiss and Dr Neil Watt. Gordon is an immunologist and is Emeritus Professor of Immunology at the University of Edinburgh, having recently retired from the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies. Neil is a veterinary pathologist, and previously was a senior lecturer at the ‘Dick’. Between us we have extensive experience in the pathogenesis, diagnosis, control and eradication of animal diseases.

We began our collaboration with Enfer Scientific Ltd in 2011 when we identified the potential of their multiplex system (Enferplex) for diagnosis of a variety of veterinary diseases. We are working with them to provide serological testing for TB using Enferplex in different species, particularly cattle, alpacas, goats, deer, companion and zoo species in the UK and Europe. We are also engaged in research aimed at further improving its capabilities with new antigens and formats. We feel that being able to detect antibodies to TB will open up novel testing strategies which will significantly improve our ability to control and eradicate this devastating disease.

The parent company, MV Diagnostics Ltd, was incorporated in 1999 and its main interests have been in Maedi Visna virus and Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis virus (MVV/CAEV) and Caseous Lymphadenitis (CLA) in sheep and goats. We have been working closely with laboratories in Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Finland, UK, USA, Canada and Italy to provide highly specific and sensitive tests for control and eradication of these diseases. Our ELISA tests are the Elitest MVV/CAEV and Elitest CLA ELISAs and have been developed in collaboration with Hyphen BioMed SA, France. We have sold over 2 million tests worldwide to date.

We have an on-going collaboration with the Norwegian dairy industry through TINE SA (www.tine.no), Norway’s largest producer, distributor and exporter of dairy products. We have worked with TINE for the last 8 years on a ‘Healthier Goats’ project to eradicate CAEV and CLA from all of their dairy goats. When we started the collaboration the project used our conventional Elitest ELISAs. Recently, in collaboration with Enfer, we have adapted these to the new multiplex format, and have added a third disease, so that we can now test for CAEV, CLA and Johnes disease in one sample of serum or milk. TINE now use this MVD-Enferplex test in their ‘Healthier Goats’ project and have done over 25000 tests in the last 18 months. We are well on the way to eradicating these diseases from Norway aiming to have this completed by 2018. Recently we have developed a multiplex test for eight bovine diseases and TINE are using this to screen bulk milk for all 9000+ dairy herds in Norway.