Sci-Tech Laboratories offers new analytical service

05-12-2014 | | |
Sci-Tech Laboratories offers new analytical service
Sci-Tech Laboratories offers new analytical service

Sci-Tech Laboratories is now able to offer a molecular diagnostic testing service specifically for veterinary surgeons and businesses involved in the pig/poultry industries.

The new service is an addition to the existing and well-respected bacteriology and serology analytical testing services offered by the organisation. It will be provided from Sci-Tech’s facility at Craven Arms in Shropshire, England and uses the Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction method to detect DNA and RNA in bacteria and viruses from a variety of sample matrices, including tissues, swabs and, additionally for pigs, Pigs Oral Fluid samples.

This technology means the tests for organisms causing diseases such as salmonella, mycoplasma, coccidiosis, and PRRS (Porcine reproductive & respiratory syndrome) are quicker and more specific. Most existing culture tests rely on viable bacteria and viruses to enable the target organism to be grown and identified.  However, the new tests offered by Sci-Tech can detect non-viable (dead) micro-organisms from animal tissue, throat swabs, blood and faeces.  The tests can detect and identify incredibly low numbers of viruses and bacteria which, in previous tests, may not have shown up at all. Furthermore, these tests can distinguish between the different groups and strains of bacteria such as Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium or the European versus the North American strain of PRRS in pigs.

In addition to greater diagnostic accuracy, another important advantage of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests is that they can be completed very quickly, usually between 24 and 48 hours. As Rob Harrison, consultant to Sci-Tech Laboratories said “This can enable treatment for a disease to be started earlier, resulting in a quicker response, with a potential to save producers hundreds if not thousands of pounds. It also means tests can be conducted upon breeding animals for export closer to the despatch date- and, in particular cases, accurate tests could facilitate the production of autogenous vaccines”

Currently the tests covered by this real-time PCR include:


  • Salmonella spp
  • Salmonella enteritidis
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Mycoplasma synoviae
  • Mycoplasma gallisepticum
  • Mycoplasma synoviae / gallisepticum combined
  • Ornithobacter rhinotracheale
  • Avian Metapneumovirus A & B (ART / TRT)
  • Infectious bronchitis


  • Swine Influenza (SI)
  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)
  • Porcine Circoviris 2 (PCV2) – Qualitative or Quantitative