Hand-held equine blood testing device gives speedy results

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The StableLab hand-held blood testing device.
The StableLab hand-held blood testing device.

Animal health company Zoetis has launched a hand-held device to give diagnostic blood test results in 10 minutes.

Its new StableLab reader will detect and quantify the biomarker Serum Amyloid A (SAA), which is a major, acute phase protein produced by the liver that rapidly and dramatically increases in response to inflammation caused by infection.

Heinrich Anhold

By measuring SAA, veterinarians can assess the severity of an infection sooner – often, before clinical symptoms start – and are able to monitor the horse’s response over the course of treatment.  Previously, this would require lab testing.

StableLab founder Heinrich Anhold said that Serum Amyloid A could detect infections with 50 times greater sensitivity than a thermometer. He said StableLab could detect infections with 97% accuracy, and was the only diagnostic tool that can accurately monitor response to antimicrobial treatment. It can identify cases of infection that even the standard lab tests don’t pick up on, he said.

Anhold said it was not yet known what the function of Serum Amyloid A was, but that it was produced by the body in response to infection.

Research has demonstrated that SAA tracks the progression of a disease and can be used to
monitor if antibiotics are working. It has a normal level of 0 µg/ml so doesn’t technically give a false
positive, while only certain types of infections will yield a false negative, such as R. equi.V

Jeannie Jeffery, Business Unit Head, US Equine for Zoetis, said that point-of-care testing is one of the fastest-growing areas of diagnostics and this test is rapidly becoming a standard of care in equine practice.

“The StableLab test kit broadens our equine offerings with convenient stall-side testing for quickly and accurately detecting a reliable indicator of infection in horses.”

Stablelab joins the Zoetis Diagnostics portfolio which features the VetScan, Alinity (i-STAT) and other point-of-care diagnostic product lines. Zoetis will manufacture, market and distribute the commercially available StableLab products.

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