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.
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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