Earlier, more accurate detection to increase milk production, quality and welfare
Top researchers and industry experts witnessed the first full-run demonstration of new technology that will help dairy producers improve profitability, milk quality and animal welfare through earlier, more accurate detection of mastitis. Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD), a developer of technologies for the diagnosis of production animal diseases, conducted a demonstration of its technology during the 51st Annual Meeting of the National Mastitis Council (NMC) in St. Pete Beach, Florida, on Jan. 23. About 50 researchers, veterinarians, processors and dairy industry professionals representing eight countries attended the presentation. "We are excited to conduct the first full demonstration of AAD's technology at the NMC annual meeting with researchers and industry experts who have provided feedback throughout our development process," said Joy Parr Drach, president & CEO. "We look forward to continuing to work with these pioneers as we move closer to commercialization." Before clinical symptoms of infection are present, the cow's immune system is responding. AAD uses this response to more accurately detect mastitis. The technology identifies the different white blood cell types in milk and uses the ratio of these cells, or the differential cell count, to identify mastitis. This allows producers to detect infections at a subclinical level, before symptoms are visible. Users of the system will place an unmeasured drop of milk from each quarter, or milk gland, of the cow on a disposable cartridge. The cartridge is then inserted into a reader instrument that gives results for all quarters in less than three minutes. At the NMC demonstration, the AAD technology diagnosed the mastitis status of a fresh cow by simultaneously analyzing samples from all four quarters. AAD technology represents a significant advance in the control of mastitis because it allows early identification of infected quarters after calving, when the highest incidence of mastitis occurs. With AAD's highly accurate, rapid on-farm test that works on colostrum, infected cows can be treated and clear the withdrawal period early in lactation when they are producing less milk. Early treatment maximizes animal welfare, ensures that cows start the lactation cycle healthy, minimizes long-term gland damage that reduces milk production and eliminates the high cost of discarded milk during treatment later in lactation. AAD technology is currently being tested on select dairy farms. AAD was founded in 2001 and started with a USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. It received funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center including a Collaborative Funding Grant for research at North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. In March 2011, the company closed an $11.3 million Series B round of equity financing with Intersouth Partners, Novartis Venture Funds and private investors. Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) is an innovative company designed to enhance the profitability of livestock production and ensure a safe, abundant supply of animal protein by developing highly accurate, rapid diagnostics to detect and manage disease states, reproductive, nutritional and overall health status of production animals. The firm's first product is a rapid, on-farm diagnostic test for earlier, more accurate detection of mastitis in dairy cows. For more information about AAD, please visit www.aadiagnostics.com.