Media Coverage

Zoetis, AAD broaden scope of mastitis diagnostics partnership


Nov 01, 2018 - Animal Pharm
By Joseph Harvey

Zoetis has signed a license and commercialization agreement with Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) for mastitis detection technology.

The deal will see Zoetis deliver AAD's QScout MLD (milk leukocyte differential) test to dairy producers and veterinarians outside of the US.

The QScout MLD test detects subclinical mastitis – the costliest disease in the dairy industry – individual mammary glands before symptoms are visible. This allows dairy producers to intervene at the earliest stages of mastitis. The technology runs on AAD's portable lab-in-a-box diagnostic platform – the QScout Farm Lab. According to AAD, this system provides on-farm test results within minutes.

In addition, the AAD technology provides benchmarking benefits to users by storing test results securely on an online portal.

"Unlike traditional mastitis diagnostic tests, the QScout MLD test provides early, precise detection of subclinical infection by identifying and differentiating white blood cells in milk, effectively characterizing the immune system's first response to infection," AAD explained. "The QScout Farm Lab reads the test, looking for elevated cell type ratios that indicate infection to yield an objective, accurate, quarter-level result.

"In US trials, QScout MLD has returned approximately $240/infected cow. Cows diagnosed early in lactation and given follow-up treatment produced 1,325 pounds more milk per cow at 305 days mature equivalent than non-treated cows, reduced somatic cell count across lactation and had 18% fewer services per conception and 14 fewer days open.

Durham, North Carolina-based AAD also said the QScout MLD test can be used as an aid to implement selective dry cow therapy – increasingly recognized as a best practice approach by bodies such as the International Dairy Federation.

The company said US trials showed selective dry cow therapy guided by the QScout MLD test led to "a 47% reduction in antibiotic use at the cow level and a 59% reduction at the quarter level".

AAD and Zoetis are already partners. The firms have been working on a pilot program whereby Zoetis has introduced the QScout MLD technology to veterinarians and dairy producers in key European markets since 2016.

Joy Parr Drach, president and chief executive of AAD, commented: "This deal validates our work developing a platform to provide real-time information to detect disease, ensure precise use of antibiotics and improve reproductive, nutritional and overall health status of production animals."

Zoetis making a move in on-farm dx

This latest partnership is another addition to Zoetis' portfolio of veterinary diagnostics for livestock.

Earlier this year, the company bought Abaxis – a move that seriously ramped up its coverage in the companion animal diagnostics space.

The deal with AAD and a move further into livestock diagnostics was then pre-empted by Zoetis chief executive Juan Ramón Alaix in August: "In livestock we see a significant opportunity in where there is no any existing diagnostic company having any penetration in this market. This market is served mainly from reference lab, farmers or veterinarians in livestock sending samples to reference labs, getting the information back in one-to-three days.

"We see the opportunities of bringing point-of-care diagnostic tools into the farms and creating information that will be very important to protect the animals."

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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