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Livestock animals and the products derived from them are major sources of income for various countries. The animal agriculture industry is one of the largest industries. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, livestock and poultry account for more than USD 100 billion in revenue per year. Animal-derived products such as meat, eggs, and dairy should be safe and fit for human consumption. To achieve this, the products should come from disease-free and healthy animals.
Diagnostics tests play an important to detect and test various pathogens in animals. Immunodiagnostics, molecular diagnostics, and other technologies, namely, microbiology, histopathology, hematology, and urinalysis, are used for animal disease diagnostics. Advancements in veterinary diagnostics technologies play a crucial role in preventing and controlling diseases and protecting animal health.
In the past, traditional diagnostics techniques were based on detecting antibodies to the pathogen by using techniques such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), agar gel immune diffusion, and complement fixation. These techniques depend on the interaction of serum polyclonal antibodies against the agent of interest, followed by a detection system. However, recent methods such as cloning genes, overexpression vectors, and peptide synthesis have produced specific proteins serving as target antigens or positive controls in the newly-developed immunoassays. Also, commercial assays for detecting cell-mediated responses have become available, including gamma interferon assays in cattle to detect tuberculosis.
Nucleic-acid-based techniques (PCR), real-time PCR, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) are also developing. For instance, the development of portable equipment for PCR has made a molecular diagnosis of foot and mouth disease (FMD) achievable. However, this approach relies on precision thermocycling. As an alternative to PCR, isothermal amplification methods for the detection of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) have been developed, which include loop-mediated isothermal ampliﬁcation (LAMP), recombinase polymerase ampliﬁcation (RPA), nucleic acid sequence-based ampliﬁcation (NASBA), and helicase-dependent ampliﬁcation (HDA).
Moreover, antigen detection has also been incorporated into portable immuno-chromatographic strip tests, known as antigen-lateral ﬂow devices (Ag–LFDs), which work by binding both viral antigen and antibody-coated detector particles to bands of capturing monoclonal antibody on a membrane. Also, new powerful diagnostic tools have been developed with the advancement in molecular biology.
Along with the advancements in veterinary diagnostics techniques, various governments and authorities are taking initiatives and providing funding for the prevention and control of animal diseases to prevent a loss of animal-derived food products. This helps boost the animal diagnostics market and creates awareness about animal disease diagnosis. For instance, in December 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) awarded USD 14.4 million to 76 projects. This funding will help enhance the early detection of animal diseases and improve emergency response capabilities at National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) veterinary diagnostic laboratories. The projects focus on improving diagnostic testing for African swine fever, classical swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, and avian influenza. Similarly, in October 2019, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) - Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) under the ‘Make in India’ initiative launched the Bluetongue sandwich ELISA (sELISA) and the Japanese Encephalitis lgM ELISA kit for the control of swine diseases and detection of antigen.
In addition, governments in several countries are partnering with companies and institutions to develop and promote animal health products. For instance, the genomic testing partnership between the Scottish Government and Neogen Corporation (U.S.), which was initiated in October 2016, has been extended through September 2021 to perform genomics testing as part of the government’s program to improve the country’s beef herd. The Beef Efficiency Scheme (BES), funded as part of the Scottish Rural Development program 2014–2020, is a climate change scheme that aims to improve the Scottish beef herd's efficiency, sustainability, and quality. Also, in November 2021, the government of Ontario and Ontario Pork (Canada), an agricultural association, will invest USD 14.4 million and USD 3.6 million, respectively. Under this initiative, a USD 18 million swine research facility is undertaken to house a state-of-the-art facility to increase capacity and expertise for research. This will lead to innovation in the swine sector and increase the sector’s productivity.
Thus, the advancements in veterinary technologies and government initiatives & funding for diseases prevention and control in animals are expected to drive the global livestock diagnostics market at a CAGR of 8.2% to reach $2.02 billion in 2028, as per a detailed study by Meticulous Research®.
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