World-first milk test for cattle herd health developed by Randox scientists

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World-first milk test for cattle herd health developed by Randox scientists


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04 March 2020

World-first milk test for cattle herd health developed by Randox scientists

Randox scientists have today revealed a revolutionary new method for Bovine disease testing which will radicalise cattle screening against some of the world’s most prevalent bovine viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Named the Bovine Pathogen Array, the test is designed to facilitate prompt diagnosis and the identification of co-infection, which aids in the reduction of the spread of disease, limits the need for medical intervention and milk withdrawal periods, and also ensures maximum efficiency at the producer level.

The veterinary multiplex IVD immunoassay from global diagnostics company Randox, headquartered in Northern Ireland, is the first of its kind on the market – detecting antibodies against six pathogens simultaneously from a single milk sample, rather than the standard more time-consuming method of singleplex ELISA testing currently required for each individual disease.

David Ferguson, Managing Director, Randox Food Diagnostics, commented;

“Our Bovine Pathogen Array is the first of its kind in the world and has the potential to revolutionise how cattle are diagnosed and how quickly pathogens are spread amongst a herd. Simultaneous detection of the rifest, and most problematic, bovine viruses, bacteria and parasites has not been attempted before, and currently, six to seven separate ELISA tests must be conducted in order to obtain the same results as those delivered by the Bovine Pathogen Array. 

“Bringing this product to market has been a priority at Randox Food Diagnostics and we are sure that arming industry professionals with quicker and more accurate diagnostic tools will lead to increased yields, increased profit margins for producers and, ultimately, better bovine health.” 

The new Bovine Pathogen test, which is conducted on a unique piece of testing technology called the Biochip, generates results in approximately 2.5 hours, allowing faster diagnosis and identification of infected cattle. Milk samples are collected from the herd, added to a Biochip, and then placed in the corresponding analyser (called the Evidence Investigator) which runs tests for multiple diseases – Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD), Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), Paratuberculosis (Johne’s Disease), Leptospirosis, Neospora Caninum and Fasciola Hepatica (Liver Fluke) – all at once.

Highly contagious and, in many cases, untreatable, there has been much concern regarding outbreaks of these dangerous pathogens in the past number of years. With a global economic impact, high mortality rates, increased premature culling, decreased reproductive performance and reduced milk yield as direct losses, vital research has been long awaited in order to tackle these dangerous conditions faster and more effectively.

David continued;

“The Randox Bovine Pathogen Array contains a range of well-established antigens complemented by additional select novel analytes for BVD and Neospora Caninum. It can also differentiate between IBR vaccinated and naturally infected animals (DIVA capacity) when used in conjunction with selected vaccines. This comprehensive test menu will significantly contribute to advances in disease research and add to scientific knowledge already available with regards to coinfection, surveillance, vaccine performance and risk factors associated with disease outbreaks.

“We are proud to be able to provide reassurance for dairy producers, enabling them to get to the root of the issue before contamination occurs across the herd.”

The new Bovine Pathogen Array was recognised as most innovative assay at the recent IDF World Dairy Summit, receiving 1st prize in the poster competition. It is now available from Randox Food Diagnostics.

Please email for further information.

Want to know more?

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The use of antibiotics in the dairy industry


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27 February 2020

The use of antibiotics in the dairy industry


The use of antibiotics in the dairy industry

In this month’s Randox Food Diagnostics blog, we look at the dairy industry and their use of antibiotics.

Antibiotics are used in the dairy industry routinely for pure preventative purposes. Due to poor conditions and hygiene, it is common that cattle will become infected which results in loss of milk yield and beef. Antibiotics are used to alleviate and prevent further suffering from potential zoonotic diseases.

Antibiotics are administered to cattle through a blanket use practice, within a herd to ensure all are treated. Once administered to the animal they must be given a ‘dry’ period when the dairy cattle are allowed to rest between lactations. This lasts roughly around 60 days in which a herd cannot be milked to ensure the antibiotics are out of the cattle’s milk. This however is at a cost to the farmer and cattle cannot be rushed back into milking too soon after administration.

To support the global dairy industry, and to help dairy processors monitor their use of antibiotics, Randox Food have developed the most comprehensive testing methods for milk.

The InfiniPlex for Milk Array is the world’s first screening technology that allows users to test for 130+ contaminants in milk in under 22 minutes. In addition to testing for antibiotics, InfiniPlex can detect anti-parasitic, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic drug residues from a single sample using patented Biochip Array Technology.

Available on both the Evidence Investigator, a semi-automated system, capable of analysing up to 48 samples in under 2 hours and the Evidence MultiSTAT, a fully automated system that delivers results from a single neat sample of milk in under 22 minutes.

If you are a centralised laboratory, internal surveillance programme, low throughput laboratory or a dairy processor we have the perfect solution for your testing needs.

For more information on the antibiotic screening arrays available, contact to find out how Randox Food can simplify your screening practices today.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our Randox Food Diagnostics website.

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Workplace Alcohol and Drug Testing Solutions from RTS

At Randox Testing Services our workplace drug & alcohol testing programs are designed with the customer in mind. We tailor our packages to ensure that every company has the testing program in place that suits the needs of their business. We find that no two companies have the same requirements. What works for one may not necessarily work for another, so our experience in helping companies craft tailored packages has afforded us knowledge that has allowed us to build long-term customer relationships.

Have a read below about how we help companies across various markets in their efforts to provide safer workplaces by reducing the impact of drugs & alcohol.

Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing

With the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol, there is an increased risk of substance abuse in the workplace leading to huge ramifications for a business and its employees. Jeopardising the safety of not only the user, but also their co-workers and in some cases the public, it affects the whole business environment and puts those present at serious risk of harm.

It is estimated that 1 in 20 people aged between 15-64 used an illicit drug in the past year. What’s more concerning is that 10% of these people are considered to be problem drug users. In the UK, it is estimated that £7.3 billion is lost each year due to the amount of lost work and productivity through alcohol abuse alone.

To counteract the negative effects substance misuse can have on a company, many organisations implement a policy that outlines their expectations concerning working whilst under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures.

Our complete testing solutions ensure companies are provided with the necessary support and information in their efforts to implement workplace testing. Our drug & alcohol testing experts can provide information on sample types, types of testingpolicy and drugs we test for; all of which are designed to ensure needs and requirements are met.

Medico-Legal Drug & Alcohol Testing

Medico-legal testing for drugs and alcohol may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. Drug & alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve.

At Randox Testing Services we provide drug & alcohol testing to all professionals within the family law and medico-legal sector. Our hair drug testing service utilised accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through the patented testing methods we have developed.

Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes expert witness reporting where applicable.

Randox Testing Services

Want to know more about the drug & alcohol testing services we offer for workplaces and professionals in the medico-legal sector? One of our experienced business development executives will be happy to discuss your requirements. Contact us using any of the below methods.



Tel: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011











China’s harmful antibiotic use within seafood & chicken

Recent studies have found harmful water and food contamination throughout China due to the country’s large use of antibiotics.

In June 2006 an infant receiving treatment for a fungal infection and pneumonia in Guangzhou City was found to be infected with a kind of super bacteria resistant to seven types of antibiotics. The Epoch Times reported that Dr. Song Yanyan, who was involved in the treatment, told Chinese media Sina that nowadays many newborn babies are found to be carrying super bacteria. In antibiotic susceptibility tests, 70% of newborns were found to show resistance to one or more antibiotics, a huge increase when compared with previous figures.

Epoch times reported that; Dr Ying – lead researcher of antibiotics at the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, led a research team all over China to investigate the scale of antibiotics consumption and discharge into the environment. They produced an “antibiotics pollution map” and the findings were that in 2013 alone, 162,000 tons of antibiotics were consumed in China—52% for veterinary treatment, and 48% for human treatment. The researchers mainly focused on 36 types of the most commonly detected antibiotics. The annual consumption of these antibiotics was more than 90,000 tons, of which 84% was given to livestock.

It was found that because of the large number of animals in pig and chicken farms, farmers have been adding a variety of antibiotics to the feed to reduce the chances of infectious diseases. Similarly, aquaculture farmers often add antibiotics when feeding fish, shrimp and crab. The export of these chicken, fish and seafood products from China pose health concerns for consumers because of their high antibiotic levels.

In order to help the industry, Randox Food Diagnostics developed the revolutionary multiplexing Biochip Array Technology, allowing the screening of up to 54 individual meatseafoodfeed or cereal samples for multiple drug residues, growth promoters and toxins on the Evidence Investigator analyser in under 2 hours and 30 minutes. This high throughput allows the user to save on time and consolidate costs in comparison to confirmatory laboratories.


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New findings show antimicrobial resistance on the rise

New antimicrobial resistance findings released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have reported that antimicrobials used to treat diseases can be transmitted between animals and humans. The report presents data from 28 European Union (EU) Member States on humans, pigs, and calves under one year old.

Discussing the report, Poultry World documented that resistance to fluoroquinolones is now so high in Campylobacter bacteria that these antimicrobials no longer work for treatment of severe cases. Studies found that in Campylobacter, extremely high proportions of bacteria were resistant to ciprofloxacin and tetracyclines.

Despite the increase of antimicrobial resistance, Member States that have implemented stringent policies are noteworthy examples for other countries. Broiler farms in the United Kingdom (UK) reduced their antibiotic use by 82% between 2012 and 2017, producing half the meat eaten in the UK and using less than 9.7% of the total antibiotics licensed for food-producing animals.

In the UK, the poultry industry set up the Antibiotic Stewardship group in 2011 to tackle antimicrobial resistance and pre-empt the need for new laws. Coordinated by the British Poultry Council (BPC), participants worked together, shared industry data, and managed a 40% reduction of antibiotic use between 2016-2017. Fluoroquinolone use alone reduced by 91% in the UK. On-going work is to continue in order to improve antimicrobial use, with better data collection and advanced rapid testing methods for antimicrobial sensitivity.

Randox Food Diagnostics recognise the need for antimicrobial detection by providing reliable and economical testing methods to monitor multiple residues from a single sample with Biochip Array Technology. With the Antimicrobial II Array Plus, Randox Food Diagnostic’s offer the detection of 6 classes of antimicrobial compounds including quinolones and tetracycline from urine and tissue samples. Additionally, our tetracycline sensitive and quinolones ELISA kits rapidly uncover additional analytes, with excellent sensitivity levels.

For more information please contact us at

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Northern Irish farmers encouraged to reduce farm antibiotic use

As part of a wider government initiative to tackle Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), Northern Ireland farmers are being given the opportunity to attend a range of training events aimed at educating them more about potential risks to their businesses.

The new training course titled ‘Responsible Use of Antibiotics in the Dairy Herd’ will be delivered by Animal Health & Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI), as part of Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS), an initiative within the Farm Business Improvement Scheme (FBIS). The training will equip farmers on how to reduce and optimise their use of antibiotics. It will also give key tips on the best use of antibiotics and how to avoid the risk of residues by following suitable withdrawal guidelines.

Ulster Farmers Union president, Ivor Ferguson said; “As a farming industry, we are committed to playing our part in reducing antibiotic usage and resistance. Significant progress has already been made in the pig and poultry sectors, which have seen their usage fall by over 50% and 80% respectively.”

The initiative is also supported by Dairy UK and many dairy companies to complement the MilkSure program ensuring that Northern Ireland milk is produced to the highest standards.

Randox Food Diagnostics are continuously investing in innovative multiplexing screening technology to enable the agriculture and food industries to implement effective drug residue screening. Our patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) can detect multiple toxins, residues & contaminants (up to 44) from a single sample. The Infiniplex Array for milk ensures dairy processors are compliant with 98% of EU regulations for antibiotics and can also detect anti- parasitic, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic drug residues from a single neat sample of milk!

Our extensive test menu is also available across a range of matrices including Meat and Feed. For more information on the screening arrays available, contact to find out how Randox Food can help protect your industry.







NHS rolls out electronic prescription in the fight against antibiotic resistance

The NHS are rolling out electronic prescribing in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

A recent article in the Telegraph newspaper reports that;

“Health chiefs have drawn up the plans amid warnings that antibiotic resistance now poses as great a threat as climate change.”

Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care UK will be informing attendees of the World Economic Forum in Davos that “we are on the cusp of a world where a simple graze could be deadly”. He has stated that it needs to be treated as a “global health emergency” and wants to cut the use of drugs across the country by 15% by setting targets.

The head of the NHS Mr Simon Stevens, said that; “much of the change would be achieved by the rollout electronic prescribing across the health service.” This would allow health officials to detect areas that are prescribing the most antibiotics so that they can try and persuade medics to cut down.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The increase in antibiotic resistance is a threat we cannot afford to ignore.

“Government data shows that, since 2014, the UK has cut the amount of antibiotics it uses by more than 7 per cent and sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals has dropped by 40 per cent.”

The NHS antimicrobial resistance (AMR) report 2015 stated:

“The amount of antimicrobials used in food production internationally is at least the same as that in humans, and in some places is higher. For example, in the US more than 70% of antibiotics that are medically important for humans are used in animals.

“When properly used, antibiotics are essential for treating infections in animals, but excessive and inappropriate use of the drugs is a problem.

A considerable amount of antibiotics are used in healthy animals to prevent infection or speed up their growth. This is particularly the case in intensive farming, where animals are kept in confined conditions.”

In order to help the fight against AMR Randox Food Diagnostics are constantly researching and developing new ways to screen for antibiotics across wine, honey, meat, seafood, dairy, feed and cereals.

Randox Food Diagnostics have developed Biochip Array Technology a multiplexing platform which allows the screening of up to 54 food/feed samples for a large range of antibiotics in under 3 hours on the Randox Evidence Investigator analyser.

To find out more information on how Biochip Array Technology works visit our website at:

Or contact us directly at:







Significant drop in veterinary antibiotics sales across Europe

Randox Food Diagnostics recently reported that the European Parliament has banned the use of antibiotics that are important for human medicine use on animals, and is prohibiting any antimicrobials in livestock without a vet prescription. The new legislation,  that is to become law by 2022, states that antimicrobials cannot be used to improve performance or compensate for poor animal conditions.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) have now documented a significant drop in overall veterinary antibiotic sales across Europe. The EMA recognise that the reduction highlights the efforts made by the European Union (EU) and various stakeholders, promoting prudent use of antibiotics in the animal sector and its positive impact. The reduction of antibiotic use in food-producing animals is a key pillar to the EUs One Health Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), according to a report conducted by the University of Minnesota.

30 countries in total submitted data between 2011 and 2016. German antibiotic sales dropped by 58%. However, whilst the majority of countries saw a drop in sales, six countries reported an increase of more than 5%. Germany’s implementation of an antibiotic minimising programme has helped the country to minimise antibiotic use, by requiring farmers raising cattle, pigs, chickens, or turkeys to report the frequency of antibiotic treatment on their farm every 6 months. If animal treatment frequency is above the median of all farms, operators must evaluate their usage with a veterinarian.

This major step forward in public health has a direct impact on the environment and food. Randox Food Diagnostics recognise the importance of improving the global food safety chain, and continue to transform the landscape by developing high quality revolutionary screening products. Our reliable and economic testing methods enable the user to detect multiple drug and toxin residues from a single sample, including antimicrobials, growth promoting compounds, synthetic steroids, anthelmintics and coccidiostats. With an expanding range of 37 ELISAs, 21 multiplex screening arrays and 20 enzymatic/colourmetric reagents, our trusted solutions ensure that better science means safer food.

For any questions, email us directly at:






The Issues Surrounding Drug Residues in the Global Food Market

The potential presence of drug residue contaminants in food products destined for human consumption is an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the industry but what are the main challenges facing the industry to tackle this potential issue?

Drug residue contaminants in food products is a discussion that involves the global community but each individual country or trade bloc has their own protocols and regulations relating to the control and monitoring of residues. The different legislations are designed to protect the general public as well as the food industry interests in their individual countries. Any business that wishes to sell their products within other countries or regions must meet their legislative requirements relating to drug residues. These differences in regulations have increased the need for increased dialogue on the issue as well as the implementation of effective monitoring systems.

The industry must deal with the potential of residues from antibiotics and growth promoting hormones entering the food chain. This will involve ensuring correct dosage per animal and also adhering to withdrawal periods set for their region. The second issue the industry faces is the stigma received from the misuse of these antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.

While there is a potential for misuse it should always be noted that a producer’s main concern should always be animal health, which leads to a quality end product. The use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of the animal and to reduce the potential knock on effect of untreated diseases which could create a downturn on yield. Growth promoting hormones are used to increase this yield also but should never be done so at the expense of a safe end product.

Residues from particular drugs in food produce can have serious implications for human health. As such many countries have set Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or tolerances for these residues in food.  The Maximum Residue Limit is the maximum concentration of a residue that can be present in a product from an animal or animal by product intended for the food supply. These MRLs mean that it is required by law in the enforcing countries that any product in the food chain cannot contain residue levels that are harmful to human health above these limits.

There has been controversy over measures to tackle drug residues in foods as there are no internationally accepted standards for many drugs. Ractopamine in particular has caused trade disputes as it is permitted in food production in some countries like the US & Canada, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and over 100 other countries have banned its use.

The real challenge the food industry faces is ensuring their testing methods are effective and reliable to ensure the safety of a variety of end products. To name a few of these diverse products we can look at the dairy, meat, seafood, feed and honey markets.

Dairy Market

The dairy industry is under constant scrutiny and pressure to constantly produce high volumes of milk whilst maintaining a superior standard of quality in their dairy products. As part of the production process various contaminants are administered to cattle in an effort to systematically treat various infectious diseases and maintain a healthy herd. A direct consequence of this is the requirement of routine monitoring and testing within farms and dairy processors to ensure that the levels of contaminants in milk are within legal regulations not exceeding Maximum Residue Limits and that unauthorised substances are not found at any level in milk.

Testing can be conducted at several points during the production process. Firstly, farm level testing can be carried out to screen milk from cows that have been separated from the herd and undergone antibiotic treatment. Secondly, the dairy processor is required to conduct testing both onsite taking samples from tankers and retrospective testing as a method of internal surveillance to ensure the milk supplied from several farms is within global regulatory limits. Thirdly, retailers can test the processed milk end product to guarantee the milk is antibiotic free before it’s added to supermarket shelves for consumers.

Meat Market

Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity in developing countries. Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses.

Growth promoters, which are tested for under the NRCP, are hormonal and antibiotic substances that may be used in food producing animals for growth promotion in livestock animals thus increasing the production of muscle meat and the reduction of fat. The type of growth promoter used is dependent on the animal species and mode of rearing with steroid growth promoters used for beef cattle and antibiotic growth promoters, which are usually added to feedstuffs, such as the coccidiostats used in the poultry industry and chlortetracycline used in the porcine industry. The rapid speed of meat production calls for the need to test for drug residues frequently to prevent them from ending up in the food chain.

Seafood Market

The global aquaculture industry has grown steadily over the past five decades, increasing at an average rate of 3.2%. However, this growth has come at a cost, with the industry facing many new challenges. Farmed seafood is often treated with medicated feeds which contain antibiotics such as leucomalachite green and nitrofurans for example to prevent from disease spreading, they are also exposed to other harmful residues used to treat algae etc. within the ‘pens’ where they are kept.

The FAO (2012) reported that 38% of fish produced globally is exported, highlighting the imbalances in regional supply and the changing tastes of the global consumer. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry.

Feed Market

The global animal feed processing market is estimated at US$21.61 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$ 26.62 Billion by 2023. The market is driven by factors such as the rising awareness of feed nutrition and health, technological advancements in the equipment industry and increase in the demand for feed around the world. Medicated feeds containing veterinary are often used to help prevent disease within livestock and there are MRLs for feed which has created the need for testing as high levels of residues can have an effect on livestock health and also transfer through to meat products for human consumption. With humidity levels rising in recent years there has been an influx in the level of mycotoxins found within feed and cereals. These toxins are fungal and can affect both livestock and human health for example mycotoxicoses which is a disease which can affect the respiratory system. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. These factors have made it necessary for feed and cereals to be tested for both drug residues and mycotoxins to ensure that they do not end up within the food chain.

Honey Market

The global honey market is growing at a rapid pace and the global consumption of honey is to reach 2.5 million tones by 2022. This growth is driven for consumers demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners over cane sugar. There is also a growing awareness of the health and healing benefits of honey which is driving the demand for the use of honey for medicinal use, manuka honey sales continue to grow for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The rapid rise in demand for honey outweighs the amount that can be produced in a natural form globally due to a decline in the number of bees. This has influenced the quality of honey being produced as some producers take to diluting natural honey with high-fructose corn syrups in order to supply the demand. There is a requirement for keepers to treat bee colonies with antibiotics to prevent CCD and other diseases such as varroa mites and there is a chance that these harmful drug residues can be transferred through to the end product ‘natural’ honey. The use of antibiotic drugs in apiculture is globally restricted and there are no MRLs set for antibiotics in honey as it a natural product and needs to be antibiotic free, this has cause the need for testing both for drug residues and the overall quality of the honey being produced.


Due to the requirement to use a variety of drug treatments in the food industry and also the potential economic benefits to be gained from the use of growth promoters, there will continue to be use in animal production. However, as analytical methods of detection become more sensitive, producers are given further options for testing.

The surveillance for the potential presence of these residues of veterinary substances is regulated by the EU Directive 86/469/EEC. This directive outlines the guidelines for sampling and testing within a residue monitoring programme.

The requirement to meet these standard and the MRLs and detection levels outlined in the legislation has created a need for analytical methods to become more sensitive to ensure correct analysis. On some occasions MRL’s have been lowered which require a technology sensitive enough to detect very low concentrations in a sample.

One such screening method that is commonly used is the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods, which work well for testing and providing accurate results.

Randox Food have developed another method of analysis using the Evidence Investigator which uses similar methodology to ELISA methods. The analyser uses biochip array technology (BAT) to perform simultaneous quantitative detection of multiple analytes from a single sample and can be used across multiple matrix types including the products produced by the industries mentioned.  The core technology is the Randox biochip, this contains an array of discrete test regions containing immobilized antibodies specific to the drug residues under test.

These methods are rapid, reliable, and sensitive so are able to detect residues in very small concentrations. The Randox methods are developed in line with EU Directive 86/469/EEC and as such are an effective testing method for multiple areas of the food industry.

For further information please contact the Randox Food Diagnostics team by emailing:







Study by Center for Disease Dynamics finds dramatic rise in global antibiotic consumption

A dramatic increase in global consumption of antibiotics has led public health experts to call for innovative new ways to rein in excessive use of the drugs, following a study by the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, in Washington DC.

The study found a 65% rise in worldwide consumption of antibiotics from 2000 to 2015, despite efforts to encourage more prudent use of the drugs. The unrestrained use of antibiotics is the main cause of the increasing appearance of drug-resistant infections, which now kill more than half a million people worldwide. A report in 2014 predicted that the spread of drug resistance could claim millions of lives per year by 2050.

Eili Klein, an author of the study, which was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, criticised the global response to the global antibiotic resistance crisis as “slow and inadequate” and called for a “radical thinking” of antibiotic consumption.

At Randox, our pioneering R&D teams have developed a revolutionary swab test for respiratory infections which will help to reduce the unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. Earlier this year, Public Health England reported that 59% of people who visited their GP with a sore throat were prescribed antibiotics, in spite of only 13% actually needing them.

The new Randox swab test indicates the cause of the infection and whether a patient needs antibiotics or not, by rapidly detecting and identifying the cause of 21 respiratory infections in just 5 hours

The test assists the clinician in prescribing the appropriate antibiotic.

John Lamont, Lead Scientist at Randox Laboratories, said;

“Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral in the way our new respiratory test can.”

This test, if widely adopted, could allow medical practitioners to make the correct treatment choice on the same day as examination and before patients have already begun a precautionary course of inefficient antibiotics. It would also have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.

This new rapid and accurate test will give clinicians confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary, which benefits patient outcomes. By reducing the prescription of unnecessary antibiotics, we can limit their use only for when they are truly needed.

The test is also available as a Randox Health Cough, Cold & Flu offering, and can be carried out by booking an appointment with Randox Health at our clinics in Crumlin, Holywood or London, or by arranging the mobile clinic to visit you at your home or place of work.

Book an appointment with one of our clinics, or arrange the mobile clinic, by phoning 0800 2545 130 or by clicking here.

For further information about the Randox Respiratory Infection Array please contact the Randox PR team by email: or phone 028 9442 2413




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