Koru Diagnostics is based in New Zealand, where it develops innovative, affordable pathogen identification tests for the global dairy sector.

Mastitis costs the world’s dairy industry $30 billion a year. In 2018, driven by a desire to help embattled farmers fight a problem that they often can’t see, the team at Koru Diagnostics began work on developing a new diagnostic tool that could utilise the milk samples already being handled by herd testing laboratories around the world.

Research and development focused on a more accurate screening test for Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria most commonly associated with contagious, subclinical mastitis, a major source of financial loss. Working closely with a large herd testing company, and using its unique expertise, Koru developed the StaphGold™ ELISA test over a period of three years. When the company announced a funding round to help commercialise the product, it received overwhelming interest and the investment opportunity was heavily over-subscribed.

Two scientists testing milk samples in a laboratory

It is the most accurate test available for detecting contagious Staphylococcus aureus mastitis, and better still, it uses herd test milk samples already being analysed – no on-farm aseptic sampling is required.

The strength of the Koru StaphGold™ ELISA lies in the way it detects the infection. Other tests rely on identifying the S. aureus pathogens themselves, but because the bacteria can be elusive to detect, these tests sometimes fail to identify a positive result.  Conversely, sample contamination or sample ‘carryover’ can deliver false positive results when using PCR or microbiological culture media, which are better suited to identifying acute, clinical mastitis cases.

The Koru R&D Team developed a test that identifies S. aureus-specific antibodies, biomarkers of the animal’s immune response to an S. aureus infection. In the herd testing context, this novel approach enables the StaphGold™ ELISA test to outperform conventional tests, in terms of sensitivity and accuracy.

For farmers, this allows improved decisions on herd management and animal treatment, which in turn delivers financial and animal health benefits.

The team at Koru Diagnostics is proud to stand by the ground-breaking test it has worked so hard to develop.
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Our Team

Koru Diagnostics is a Research & Development company made up of passionate professionals who are proud and excited to be delivering innovative diagnostic solutions to the global dairy industry. Meet its highly-qualified team of experts.

Rhys McKinlay

Being CEO at Koru Diagnostics has brought together the knowledge and expertise Rhys gained in New Zealand from his previous involvement in both milk quality management and the global diagnostic...

Tony Pernthaner

Having grown up on a dairy farm, Tony has a special affinity with agriculture. He followed his passion via a Dr Med Vet degree in veterinary medicine, and a post-graduate Venia Docendi veterinary teaching...

David Flossdorf

R&D Scientist
David was first drawn to the world of microbiology by a fascination for the tiny life forms that can hugely impact life on this planet. He completed a PhD in Food Microbiology (Massey University, NZ), following...

Suzanne Hurst

Senior R&D Scientist
The Canadian, United Kingdom and New Zealand governments have all funded science projects that Sue has either led or been part of; but her interest in science was sparked years earlier in the classroom...
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