The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) recently acquired a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine which will help with the early detection of disease in animals.
A release yesterday from the GLDA said that this was made possible through collaborative efforts with the University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago Campus through the ‘One Health One Caribbean One Love’ Project at an estimated cost of £5,000.
Chief Executive Officer of the GLDA, Nigel Cumberbatch said that the machine, is a major component of the laboratory’s ability to respond to disease outbreaks, if the need arises.
The PCR machine provides a platform for disease detection from an early stage of infection.
“It works by detecting DNA or RNA of the target organism you want to find. Basically it allows you to say, with a high degree of certainty after considering the signs and epidemiology, that your target may be causing the disease condition seen or is present in the samples processed.” Cumberbatch disclosed.
The Authority will soon commence its early disease detection operations in several areas for diseases such as Foot and Mouth disease, Avian influenza and New Castle disease.
It will also be used for carrying out tests on domesticated and wildlife animals that are being exported.
Although the machine is not commonly used as a tool for disease surveillance, it offers other applications in areas of research, the release said.
The GLDA is a semi-autonomous agency under the Ministry of Agriculture with responsibility for monitoring and providing support services to the local livestock industry.