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Boehringer Ingelheim has developed the swine industry’s first commercially available quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Lawsonia (ileitis) using fecal samples.

Unlike traditional qualitative PCR assays which simply detect for the presence of Lawsonia, the new quantitative PCR test provides customers with bacterial concentration levels. The test will be available on July 1, 2015.

Jessica Seate, DVM and technical manager for the enteric solutions portfolio for BIVI, says results from quantitative PCR assays provide veterinarians and producers with more specific information on the severity of disease presence within infected pigs and insights into the potential impact on production.

“For ileitis, in particular, studies show a strong correlation between fecal bacterial load levels and clinical disease and impact on average daily gain and production,” she explains.

"The quantitative PCR test for Lawsonia, along with efficacious vaccines such as Enterisol® Ileitis, are part of the suite of tools we offer veterinarians and producers to better monitor disease status of their pigs and improve overall health and productivity of their herds.” The quantitative test is especially useful to veterinarians conducting farm research programs or who want specific data on bacterial load levels from infected pigs. Eventually, this test will replace the existing qualitative PCR test using fecal samples.

The underlying PCR test was developed by Life Technologies while the quantitative portion of the test was developed by the Boehringer Ingelheim Health Management Center. The BIVI Health Management Center is the US swine industry’s first private diagnostic laboratory International Standard ISO 17025 accredited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation since 2004.