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bTB Research update

The work on developing a satisfactory test for bTB in camelids has moved a stage further with the release of some of the results for the second stage of the research into a PCR test. This test essentially looks for the DNA of the bTB bacillus in nasal swabs or the faeces of an animal suspected of having the disease.

The research is now showing that the PCR test can detect bTB at quite an early stage in its development in a camelid. This work has been initiated by the TB Support and Advisory Group and both British Camelids and BLS have contributed significantly to the work which is being done by the VLA in their Starcross Laboratory.

If this develops well then a PCR test offers a relatively cheap and easy way of testing for TB. It is non-invasive and provided care is taken in taking the faecal samples then there is no risk of false positives.

You can find out more on the TBSRG website at and click on the PCR tab and then explore the associated PCR pages.

The same website also offers a nice explanation of the recent VLA research on the various anti-body tests – click on the bTB tests tab.