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Improved Diagnostics Promise Reduced Turn Around Times and Costs
Dr. Joe Rubin - University of Saskatchewan

Farmscape for June 12, 2019

Improved methods for diagnosing Brachyspira will reduce turn around times and costs and help combat antibiotic resistance.
To help veterinarians select the most appropriate treatment and tackle antibiotic resistance researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with scientists in Europe, are working to standardize methods for diagnosing Brachyspira-associated disease in swine.
Dr. Joe Rubin, the Graduate Chair and an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology with the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains once the microbiologist cultures a bacteria additional characterization will provide therapeutic guidance, so to which drugs the organism is likely to be susceptible or resistant and that's where we don't have robust methods.

Clip-Dr. Joe Rubin-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
It's been a matter of trying to make things as succinct and uniform as possible in the lab so that we're doing the test in exactly the same way and can compare our results between batches.
We want to make sure that if two vets send in a sample to us, we do the tests, we're able to give them consistent and reliable results.
Some of the other work that we've done has been on identifying the genetic determinants of antimicrobial resistance, so trying to see what genes or what DNA mutations might be associated with decreased susceptibility to antibiotics that are used clinically for treating Brachyspira.
If we're able to identify genetic determinants of resistance, it gives us another target for diagnostic tests so we can in the future develop a laboratory method where we go looking for the gene and then we're able to provide some therapeutic guidance to the veterinarian before we're able to do the susceptibility testing which can take several weeks.
So it's really helpful in reducing the diagnostic turn around time.

Dr. Rubin says this will benefit producers who will only have to pay for one prescription instead of possibly a second.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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