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Incorporating forensic technology to catch AI early

Poultry breeders Hendrix Genetics are incorporating forensic technology to catch avian influenza early.

The company has invested in state of the art technology and are using a technique called Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in house, not only for AI but also for Mycoplasma, Salmonella, metapneumovirus, coronavirus and adenovirus.

Photo: Stephen Ausmus / ARS
Photo: Stephen Ausmus / ARS

PCR allows the company to test small samples and in a short period of time scientists can work out if the pathogen is present or not. For the purposes of AI, PCR can detect one viral genome among over 50,000 host cells. This high sensitivity permits detection soon after infection.

Already being used for forensic investigations and cancer screenings, the technology enables companies through early detection to stop deadly pathogens before they have a chance to cause real harm.

Recognised by governments

Elise Chasseignaux, Hendrix Genetics sanitary laboratory manager, said the company’s PCR works was being recognised by governments, including the French administration.

“We now have the rare distinction of being certified for avian influenza testing by PCR. This is significant as not only are our equipped and policies recognised, but also our integrity to self-report.

“This incredibly powerful technology is an innovative solution that allows us to support the protein value chain. Further applications for this are being explored and like with genetics, the possibilities are endless.

“The PCR is another example of where we are searching for solutions that bring better breeding today, for a brighter life tomorrow,” she added.

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