Researchers at the university of Minnesota have developed a new molecular test that can rapidly detect the bacteria that cause Johne’s disease.

Previous tests often took between six to 18 weeks to process due to the slow-growing nature of the disease-causing bacterium. This new test — that enables detection of the bacterium in fecal matter or milk — takes 72 hours or less. Researchers say this advancement shows how genomic information may be used to develop highly specific, sensitive and rapid tests to combat diseases. And, the work will ultimately help improve dairy food safety. The research was published in the Aug. 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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