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Use of bacteriophage to detect mycobacteria MAP

The mycobacteria group of bacteria includes a number of important pathogens of humans and livestock. M. tuberculosis being responsible for tuberculosis in humans and cattle and M. paratuberculosis in Johnes disease in cattle. In Johnes disease M. paratuberculosis embeds itself in the wall of the intestine leading to an immune response and reduced nutrient absorption and chronic wasting of the affected animal. Johnes disease is highly infectious and has a high economic cost as infection has to be controlled at the herd level as there is no effective antibiotics treatment. This places early, rapid sensitive and specific detection of m. paratuberculosis as being key in the management of this disease in dairy herds. In terms of detection, conventional tests such as ELISA have been found to be inconsistent meaning that more effective tests are badly needed.

In this webinar, Dr Cath Rees, Associate Professor in Microbiology in School of Biosciences, at the Nottingham University discusses the development of rapid, phage-based tests that can be used for the detection of mycobacterial pathogens including M. tuberculosis in humans and M. paratuberculosis and M. bovis in animals. Dr Rees discusses the benefits of this bacteriophage-based approach provides over the current detection methods which have led to a commercialized test called “Actiphage” from PBD Biotech. Some of the wider aspects related to this interesting topic are also covered such as detection of viable cells, and is there a link between detection of m. paratuberculosis in humans and Crohn's disease?

This presentation was part of the Andor Virology Virtual Conference March 2021.

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