Development of a Rapid Diagnostic for Strangles
Streptococcus equi subsp. equi is the bacteria that causes Strangles, a highly contagious equine respiratory disease with enormous economic impact. Eradication has not been accomplished due to the lack of a rapid test allowing for immediate action to quarantine the infected horse and eliminate transmission.
The Diagnostic Discovery
To address the need for a rapid diagnostic test for Strangles, Maine Biotechnology Services, entered into a collaboration to bring a rapid diagnostic for Strangles to the marketplace. MBS embarked hybridoma development project with the goal of producing monoclonal antibodies specific to Strep equi that would not cross react with Strep zooepidimicus, the ancestor of Strep equi. After a successful project, and thorough validation, MBS was able to add two separate antibody matched pairs to the product catalog specific for Strep equi.
In an exciting development, a partner from the diagnostic industry, has been able to incorporate the antibodies developed at MBS into their assay platform to create a practical, accurate “stall-side” rapid diagnostic kit.
Dr. Robert Causey, PhD DVM, of the University of Maine at Orono, who originally brought the need for adequate Step equi reagents to the attention of MBS, is now playing a critical role in advancing this new diagnostic technology from the development pipeline to the day to day practice of veterinarians. MBS has continued to support Dr. Causey through addition of technical collateral and business insights to an application for grant money from the Maine Technology Institute.
Dr. Causey has now been awarded the Maine Technology Institute grant money for the purposes of creating an endoscopy lab to enable field testing of newly developed diagnostic test kits. The first goal of the lab is to validate the strangles diagnostic in a large number of equine clinical samples. Dr. Causey hopes to generate enough data to not only further validate the reagents and the assay, but ultimately to see this rapid immunoassay added to the industry’s “best practices” for the diagnosis of Strangles.
Maine Biotechnology Services seeks to bring quality antibody products, rich in technical collateral to the diagnostic community. We believe that the evolution of the antibodies to Strep. equi, the diagnostic assay, and the continued evaluation is one example of how effectively combined expertise across industry and academia can drive innovation forward, changing the diagnostic landscape for the better.
For more information on the Strangles diagnostic or Dr. Causey’s UMO Equine Disease surveilance endoscopy lab, contact email@example.com