New diagnostic test to identify mastitis quicker

CIEL is teaming up with livestock health & welfare specialists RAFT Solutions Ltd to develop a new diagnostic solution for the dairy industry in a bid to improve milk yields, disease surveillance and product assurance.

The aim is to develop a novel hardware and software solution to rapidly identify the presence of mastitis pathogens and collate & share diagnostic results to enable quicker mastitis diagnosis on dairy farms, offering the opportunity for dairy farms to enhance productivity and reduce antimicrobial use globally.

£530,520 of Innovate UK funding is supporting the project following a successful bid in the first wave of Transforming Food Production funding as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. The project will be delivered over the next two and half years. Working alongside RAFT Solutions and CIEL are Fera Science, Optisense and Quality Milk Management Services.

The use of diagnostics is widely recognised as an essential tool for improving animal health as well as food hygiene and safety. Developing a solution to collate and share diagnostic results will help protect animal health and welfare, maximise farm productivity through disease reduction, and make milk processing logistics more efficient by better forecasting.

Rapid diagnostic results are a key need for sustainable food production. Waste is reduced if we can target rapid detection of food pathogens in the meat processing sector and protect public health at the same time. Antimicrobial use is reduced in the dairy sector if rapid diagnosis of pathogens can be made and only targeted treatment implemented when indicated.

Jonathan Statham, RAFT’s Chief Executive

The proposed tool aims to:

  • Develop and expand the impact of the currently available diagnostic testing platform developed by the consortium for rapid detection of food pathogens in the meat processing sector
  • Create new targeted diagnostic modules relevant for the dairy industry, in particular bovine mastitis and antimicrobial resistance genes
  • Develop a novel hardware and software solution to collate and share diagnostic results, to improve animal health and welfare, farm productivity through disease reduction and traceability of food

The new tool will be marketed to vets and farmers to inform clinical practice, enable appropriate case selection for antimicrobial use and optimise farm profitability.