The new technology represents a major advancement over the previous diagnostic process and will provide increased resolution and a better assessment of genetic variation that may be associated with antigenic or strain differences.

This technological advancement utilizing molecular biology is yet another development to come from Newport Laboratories Inc., a producer of diagnostic technology and a manufacturer of autogenous or custom-made vaccines.

The new MLST technique evaluates 10 variable genes associated with specific Mycoplasma bovis virulence factors, including several of the variable surface proteins (VSPs).

“This is a great leap forward in our ability to compare Mycoplasma bovis isolates,” says Randy Shirbroun, DVM, director of diagnostics for the company.

The use of molecular biology in diagnostics is important in the detection, identification, characterization and comparison of pathogens. It also aids in the selection of appropriate seed isolates for potential autogenous vaccine production through comparison of isolates, assuring that the genetic variation detected in multiple diagnostic cases submitted by a veterinarian will be represented. For organisms like Mycoplasma bovis and Histophilus somni, strain variation, or “heterosis, must be considered in the design of such vaccines,” according to the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.


The company, located in Worthington, Minnesota, and owned by Merial Inc., will begin use of this advanced diagnostic technology for Mycoplasma bovis this fall. For more information, visit the company's website.  end mark

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—From Newport Laboratories Inc. news release