Rather than wait for mastitis organisms to grow on culture plates overnight, a new PCR-based test from Acumen Detection can detect most major mastitis-causing bugs in as little as three and a half hours.
That means infected cows can be correctly diagnosed and treated more quickly, potentially reducing the severity of the infection and increasing the odds of cures.
The Acu-Polaris Detection system involves a five-step process that does not require the expertise often required in running and identifying culture plates. Because the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) process identifies the actual DNA of organisms, much of the guesswork is taken out of the process.
While up to 30% of cultures result in no-growth, PCR testing is more adept at finding and identifying mastitis-causing bacteria. The test is 80% accurate for Staph. aureus, 96% accurate for Strep. uberis, 97% accurate for Strep. species and 100% accurate for both Mycoplasma and Prototheca.
The Acu-Polaris Detection system retails for $8,800, with individual samples ranging in cost from $7.50 to $10.50. The system is likely best suited for veterinary clinics or large dairies that routinely run on-farm cultures as part of their mastitis treatment protocols. A return-on-investment calculator is available from the App store. Click here for more information on the Acu-Polaris Detection system.
Note: This story ran in the March 2018 magazine issue of Dairy Herd Management.