NAHLN Labs Deliver ASF Test Results in Four to Six Hours

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Farmscape for September 22, 2021

Feature Report Listen
USDA/APHIS ASF Webinar 1:29:51 Listen
Dr. Christina Loiacono 12:18 Listen
ASF Action Week Webinar September 14 Listen

The coordinator of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network says, on average, test results for African Swine Fever can be provided to regulatory officials within four to six hours of receiving the sample. “Steps APHIS is Taking to Prevent and Prepare for African Swine Fever” was the focus of the second of a series of five ASF Action Week seminars last week. Dr. Christina Loiacono, the coordinator of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, who outlined the diagnostic process says samples from any suspect pig can be sent to any one of approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network labs, most of which will be doing foreign animal disease investigations and will include the PCR for African Swine Fever.

Clip-Dr. Christina Loiacono-APHIS:
We start with our suspect pigs, with pigs with clinical signs or an epidemiologic link to ASF virus. The clinical signs may include an increase in mortality or in life pigs we’re looking at fever depression, they stopped eating, they have purple skin et cetera, so samples from the suspect pigs should be tested using a screening PCR for ASF. That’s the first step. This test can be done at an approved NAHLN laboratory or at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories or an animal disease diagnostic lab and better known as FADDL, our national reference laboratory. If the screening PCR is positive, then the case is considered a presumptive positive and in order to confirm a presumptive positive, we need another positive test for ASF and that test has to be completed at FADDL, at our reference laboratory.
Then, once confirmed, the U.S. has to report findings to the World Organization for Animal Health or OIE within 24 hours.

Dr. Loiacono says the test itself can be run in about two hours so, when you consider the sample prep time before testing and then the quality evaluations that have to be happen after testing, a NAHLN laboratory can get results to regulatory officials on average in about four to six hours.

For more google “ASF Action Week” or visit Farmscape.Ca. Bruce Cochrane.

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