Ractopamine Detection in Meat
Ractopamine was first developed as a treatment for asthma but was never approved according to Consumer Reports. Research later uncovered that when added to animal feed prior to slaughter, ractopamine could increase meat leanness or weight. However, ractopamine is currently banned or resisted in over 160 nations, including Russia and all European Union countries.
Ractopamine belongs to a class of drugs known as beta-agonists. These drugs mimic the effects of adrenaline, resulting in increased protein synthesis in muscle tissue during the administration period. When looking at the long-term effects of the therapeutic use of beta-agonists, side effects include a fast heart rate, widening of blood vessels, skeletal muscle tremor, nervousness, metabolic disturbances, high blood sugar and a lower than normal potassium in the blood. It is for this reason that in Europe all beta-agonists are banned for use in livestock and for improving athletic performance according to EU council directive 96/22/EC.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide a “Never Fed Beta Agonists” program for companies that produce livestock and beef and pork products. Companies are to meet the requirements of the program if they are to supply pork or beef to customers that require verification of marketing claims that meat is derived from animals that are free of beta agonist residues.
With over 35 years’ experience within the diagnostics industry, Randox Food Diagnostics provide the highest quality products, customer service and technical support to ensure the needs of our global customer base are met. Our dedicated research and development team have therefore created our USDA approved ELISA kit for the detection of ractopamine residues. Offering excellent limits of detection, our accurate and reliable ractopamine test is applicable on urine and tissue sample types.
To ensure compliance with regulations, Randox Food Diagnostics also provide the Growth Promoter Multiple Matrix Array. Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, the Growth Promoter Multiple Matrix Array detects for several growth promoters in meat, including ractopamine.
For more information on our ractopamine ELISA or Growth Promoter Multiple Matrix Array, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supported by Global Camerata Ireland sponsor Randox Laboratories, internationally renowned pianist and Gold Medal winner at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition Barry Douglas returned to Moscow last night with an exclusive performance with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Held in the magnificent Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory on Tuesday 16th October 2018, the concert recanted Shostakovich’s Concerto No.2 for Piano and Orchestra in F Major, Op. 102 to wide critical acclaim.
The event marks the continuation of Randox’s progress within the Russian food diagnostics market. Randox-patented Biochip Array Technology has allowed the food diagnostics industry in Russia to progress to new levels. The release of two National Standards (GOSTs) together with Randox Food Diagnostics’ most comprehensive test for dairy industry – InfiniPlex – provides companies from meat and milk industries with a tool to comply with the recently announced Decree №28, which requires that milk and meat processors carry out much wider screening for drug residues.
Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
Randox, now celebrating over 36 years of innovation in healthcare diagnostics, is proud of its association with Barry Douglas.
We at Randox truly value this partnership as, in our field of endeavour, we strive to improve healthcare and extend life across the globe. Our energies and skills are focused upon the development and provision of world-leading Research and Development in the areas of health and also food diagnostics. We are passionate about what we do and are committed to better food diagnostics for all which not only improves global healthcare but will significantly extend lives. We believe that innovative diagnostics, with increasingly preventative capabilities, hold the key to improved diagnostic capabilities in the future.
Barry Douglas, award-winning Irish pianist, also commented on the historic trip;
“I’m thrilled to be back in Moscow, a place which holds very special memories for me. Music connects us all universally and transcends gender, nationality, race and orientation. I am excited to bring my own special taste of Ireland to Russia and be able to share in this experience with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and Randox Laboratories, who continue to support Camerata Ireland. We couldn’t have achieved our internationally-acclaimed reputation without them.”
David Ferguson, Global Business Manager for Randox Food Diagnostics, said of the company’s branch in to the Russian market;
“Randox have been providing the highest quality food diagnostics products into the Russian market for a number of years, however, we are delighted to continue to revolutionise the industry through our unique Biochip Array Technology which allows meat and milk producers greater compliance assurance. As a business we are very excited about the next 12 months in particular as our business continues to expand and we invest in the Russian market. Together with new customers and long-term partners, including Cherkizovo, Randox Food Diagnostics is looking forward to accepting new challenges for the improvement of the quality of food products in Russia and the Customs Union in the future.”
For more information, please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email email@example.com
The global meat industry is a multi-billion-dollar business contributing over $85 billion to the US economy alone annually. Globally it is valued at $800 billion and as such, it is one of the biggest industries in the world.
With its already strong position and an ever growing demand for meat products the market shows no sign of slowing down. There are continued demands set on producers to provide not only more meat, but meat at a higher quality. Public awareness on issues such as drug residues, animal rights, food safety and antibiotic resistance is on the rise and as such producers and processors are more and more required to meet stringent requirements.
With the increasing demand on quantity and quality the industry faces many challenges and one the key areas of interest in this production chain is the monitoring of residues.
Residues in food relates to the residual amount of a particular compound either administered to an animal as a veterinary treatment or a naturally occurring compound present in food for human consumption.
There are a number of potential issues that can arise from contaminated feed and it is important for producers to ensure that animal feed has little or no trace of residues of mycotoxins, growth promoters or veterinary drugs.
Veterinary drugs are often added to feed to be used as a method of treating livestock, producers therefore must be sure of the dosage to ensure that withdrawal periods are correctly adhered to. Mycotoxins may also be present in feed due to a number of environmental factors, this can have a negative impact of the livestock.
The Mycotoxin Threat
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by fungi, commonly known as moulds, which can have a harmful effect on humans and livestock. These moulds are of interest to producers because they have the potential for significant economic losses due to how they impact human health, animal productivity and international trading.
Mycotoxins can be present in a wide variety of foods and feeds and are a particular threat in areas with climates of high temperature and humidity. They can enter the food or feed chain through contaminated crops, in particular cereals, poultry meat and kidneys, pig kidneys and pork sausages. Contamination may also occur post-harvest during storage, transport, and processing stages of the food or feed supply chain.
The establishment of mycotoxin limits and regulations have been set by multiple food agencies worldwide. For example the EU 2002-32 Directive sets maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for substances that are present in, or on, animal feed that have the potential to pose danger to animal or human health, to the environment, or could have an undesirable affect to livestock production.
One type of livestock that can be significantly impacted by mycotoxins are pigs. Pig feed contaminated with mycotoxins can cause serious risks to pig health.
For example, Aflatoxins consumed by swine can expose non-clinical characteristics with low level exposure (20 to 200 ppb), inducing symptoms displayed such as feed avoidance, gastrointestinal disturbances, paleness and slower growth. It can also suppress the immune system and cause young piglets to become more susceptible to bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases. With prolonged exposure causing a greater risk of cancer, liver damage and jaundice. High concentrations of aflatoxin (1,000 to 5,000 ppb) result in acute effects, including death. It is a genotoxic carcinogen and suitably its levels have been set as low as realistically possible in complete feeding stuffs for pigs and poultry with a maximum content value of 0.02.
Zearalenone is another mycotoxin that can have a negative impact on livestock. Produced by a strain of Fusarium graminearum it has been listed under the Directive with a guidance value. It has an estrogeneous action and is significantly toxic to the reproductive system of animals with the potential to cause rectal and vaginal prolapses in gilts (young sows). Zearalenone has been allocated a suggested guidance value of 0.1ppm in complementary and complete feeding stuffs for piglets and gilts and 0.25ppm in feedstuffs for sows and fattening pigs.
With the risk from multiple Mycotoxins in animal feed it is important to be able to detect dangerous levels of each listed in the EU Directive in order to reduce instances of damage to animal health.
Growth promoters are often used in the meat industry to increase yield of livestock, an important tool considering the increased demand on quantity from the food chain. Some of these growth promoters however are known to have a negative impact on both animal and human health.
The presence of anabolic steroids including beta agonists such as Clenbuterol and Ractopamine, as well as other veterinary drugs is under a strict monitoring program in meat and animal feed to prevent these negative impacts.
Growth promoting drugs are used to induce weight but can have various health concerns such as such as hospitalisation with reversible symptoms of increased heart rate, muscular tremors, headache, nausea, fever, and chills.
The potential human health risks highlight the importance of complete food safety testing before a food product reaches the public.
Due to the nature of the conditions livestock is generally kept in, there is a high potential for infection and spread of viruses. Producers need to be aware and proactive in treating any veterinary disease that arises.
One such disease that can be an issue is coccidiosis which is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract. This disease can be spread by contact with infected faeces, or the ingestion of infected tissues by other animals. Coccisiostats are potent drugs which are widely used within veterinary practice to treat coccidiosis, mainly in feed additives. Chickens are susceptible to at least 11 species of coccidia that causes coccidiosis therefore creating an importance to treat for. Coccisiostat residues that occur in high levels within food for human consumption can be unsafe and can have negative effects on pre-existing coronary conditions/diseases. These residues can pass through the meat tissue and eggs.
With a variety of potential residues to be detected and a need for accurate results many producers are using Randox Food Diagnostics technology to carry out sample analysis.
With the development of the patented Biochip Array Technology Randox have consolidated the testing of multiple residues down to one sample which means time and cost saving for the meat industry. For example, with one Biochip a meat producer’s laboratory could test for 9 different growth promoter residues.
The technology centres on the Biochip, a 9mm2 ceramic chip which acts as the reaction well where samples are placed, requiring little technical expertise for preparation. Each chip is spotted with the antibodies required to detect the individual analytes being tested for and can accommodate up to 43 analytes. Food laboratories can then detect 43 different residues with one test.
The biochip works on the Evidence Investigator (Semi-Automated) and Evidence MultiSTAT(Automated) analysers. These analysers are used as the imaging stations for the biochips. Each spotted test site sends out a chemiluminescent signal which is detected by the analyser, processed, quantified and validated by the instrument software.
With a simple process, fast method and trusted results many of the world’s top meat producers are investing in Biochip Array Technology to ensure the safety and quality of their products.
For more information please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drug residues in milk present major concern for farmers, dairy processors, cheese manufacturers, authorities and consumers due to the potential public health and industrial implications. Through the potential inappropriate antimicrobial use in animals producing product for human consumption, antibiotic-resistant organisms can enter the food supply or can spread to various components of the ecosystem. For consumer protection, regulatory limits have been set for the majority of compounds.
Randox Food Diagnostics provides screening technology to monitor the levels of these potentially harmful compounds including the Infiniplex for Milk Array available on the Evidence Investigator and Evidence Multistat analysers.
Using the Randox Food technology the user can identify 130 analytes from a 200µl sample of raw milk and follows this simple process to results:
- Pipette the sample directly onto the MultiSTAT biochip
- Insert into the Evidence MultiSTAT
- Press Play and follow the on-screen prompts
- Results appear on screen in under 20 minutes
Developed to provide an easy to use option for the user, the Infiniplex Array for Multistat can be used by anyone to ensure rapid on-site testing within the dairy industry.
The InfiniPlex test menu is 98% compliant with EU regulations and screens for additional contaminants including; antiparasitic, anti-inflammatories, non-steroidal and unauthorised substances from one sample of raw milk, creating a better end product for the processor and end user.
To find out more about InfiniPlex contact email@example.com
Mycotoxins are poisonous chemical compounds produced by certain fungi. There are many such compounds, but only a few of them are regularly found in food, farmed crops and end product animal feeds. Since they are produced by fungi, mycotoxins are associated with diseased or mouldy crops. Those that do occur in food may have an impact on livestock and the health of humans and have been associated with conditions such as asthma, respiratory infections and chronic fatigue. The main causes of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp, damaged or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions.
The formation of mycotoxins is climate-dependent, with temperature and moisture levels directly impacting fungal growth. Evidence shows that climate change is causing increasing temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. Additionally, extreme weather incidents have increased. As a consequence of these changes, increased levels of mycotoxins have been observed in some European crops.
Mycotoxins occur, and exert their toxic effects, in extremely small quantities in foodstuffs. Their identification and quantitative assessment therefore generally require sophisticated sampling, sample preparation, extraction, and analytical techniques. Under practical storage conditions, the aim should be to monitor for the occurrence of fungi. If fungi cannot be detected then there is unlikely to be any mycotoxin contamination. The presence of fungi indicates the potential for mycotoxin production, and the need to consider the fate of the batch of commodity affected.
In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample. Within farmed crops Randox Food Diagnostics provide testing for different matrices such as: Maize silage, maize, Barley, grass seed, rice, wheat, oats, soya, DDGS, rapeseed as well as livestock and pet foods including premixed feed.
Randox Food Diagnostics offer a mycotoxin screening array on Biochip called Myco 10 which can detect 10 mycotoxins per sample including aflatoxins G1/G2 & B1/B2, ergot alkaloids, fumonisins, paxilline, ochratoxin A, diacetoxyscirpenol, deoxynivalenol (DON), T2 toxin & zeralenone. Also offered is a range of ELISA test kits including ergot alkaloids.
Randox Food Diagnostics is a regular participant in the FAPAS proficiency testing scheme which provides an independent check of a laboratory’s procedures to ensure the delivery of quality results. To read our study on: Biochip Array Technology for the reliable performance of multi-mycotoxin determination in animal feed materials” click here: http://www.randoxfooddiagnostics.com/docs/default-source/randox-fd/posters/bat-mycotoxins-in-animal-feed-materials.pdf?sfvrsn=4
Bees and other pollinators are vital to three-quarters of the world’s food crops but have been in serious decline in recent decades. The destruction of wild habitats, disease and widespread pesticide use are all important factors.
Global honey production is projected to reach 2.4 million tons by 2022 this is driven by a growth in consumers demand for a natural and healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners, a rising awareness over the benefits of using honey as a sweetener over cane sugar and the realisation of the antibacterial and inflammatory properties of manuka honey.
The decline in the numbers of bees and rising demand from consumers for natural honey products has created a market for “illegal honey” being produced to supply the demand. Producers ‘cut’ their honey with additives like high-fructose corn syrup and brand it as natural honey, affecting purity and reducing cost.
‘Honey laundering’ has also become an issue, with countries such as China using non FDA approved chemicals within beekeeping and being non-compliant to regulations causing their honey to be banned from entering the USA. To get around this, Chinese honey is being shipped into countries such as Vietnam where it is then re labelled and moved into the USA with a new country of origin on the label. This has created the need for a reliable and accurate way to test honey globally.
In order to help the industry Randox Food Diagnostics developed the Evidence Investigator analyser. The Investigator uses Biochip Array Technology (BAT), a technology that was developed by Randox, to detect multiple residues (up to 45) from a single sample. Tests for honey include a vast range of antimicrobials such as Quinolones, Streptomycin, Chloramphenicol, Nitrofurans and more. Randox Food Diagnostics are also releasing a pesticides array in early 2018. Also offered are a range of ELISA test kits.
Alongside the evidence Investigator Randox Food Diagnostics developed the RX misano for enzymatic analysis of honey. The RX misano is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural) & colouration, with sucrose coming in 2018.
Randox Food Diagnostics will be attending Bee Happy Expo in Bulgaria from 1st – 4th March 2018 Stop by booth 25 or catch our presentation on Saturday 3rd March at 14:30 to learn more about our product offering for honey.
For more information visit the Randox Food Diagnostics website at: http://www.randoxfood.com/matrices/honey
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pet Food companies worldwide are working towards constantly improving and maximising the quality of their product. The problematic topic of mycotoxin contamination in pet feed is quickly becoming a major cause for concern. This is due to the risk they pose for animal health and with the increasing prevalence of mycotoxins globally the focus is on pet food companies to meet EU and FDA regulations and maximise the quality of their product.
What are Mycotoxins?
Mycotoxins are naturally occurring metabolites that are produced by certain moulds and with the ability to develop and grow on a variety of crops they can affect large amounts of feed and increasingly, pet food. If a sample tests positive even for low levels of contamination the toxins are still strong enough to cause illness in animals, and if low levels are consumed over a long period of time this can result in chronic illnesses including; cancer, organ damage and neurological disorders.
The main mycotoxins of concern in pet food are;
- Deoxynivalenol (DON)
- Fumonisins (FUM)
- Zearalenone (ZEN)
- T-2 Toxin
Contamination can occur in any country around the world and at any stage of production. Herein lies the issue of how to prevent mycotoxin pollution, to tackle the issue head on and work towards a mycotoxin free product is the joint responsibility of feed producers, supply chain partners and quality control laboratories ensuring the complete safety of the product.
How can you tell if an animal has ingested pet food contaminated with mycotoxins?
In terms of animal health, mycotoxins can cause a variety of problems. Severity and symptoms can vary from animal to animal but general symptoms include; hyperactivity, vomiting, high temperature and loss of coordination. If you suspect your pet has been affected by mycotoxins you must bring them to the vet for immediate treatment.
The European Union currently regulate all the mycotoxins listed above and are subject to maximum or recommended residue limits. In the US, FDA regulations are limited to aflatoxins, DON and fumonisins, see table below for FDA regulations. If mycotoxin levels in feed fail to meet FDA standards, mass amounts of feed may need to be destroyed as grain producers are prohibited from mixing contaminated feed with clean feed to reduce the mycotoxin levels.
|Immature Animals||Aflatoxins||Corn/ peanut/ other ingredients||20 ppb|
|Adult Pets||Aflatoxins||Corn/ peanut/ cottonseed meal/ other ingredients||20 ppb|
|DON||Grain/ grain byproducts, not to exceed 40% of diet||5 ppm|
|Fumonisins||Corn/ corn byproducts, not to exceed 50% of the diet||10 ppm|
How do we tackle the problem?
Safe, reliable screening solutions for different variations of mycotoxins are available that can ensure only mycotoxin free feed is produced. Randox Food Diagnostics have created mycotoxin screening platforms as a response to increased levels of mycotoxins being found in feed globally.
The platforms use patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) so pet food producers can test for multiple toxins from a single sample. Randox Food Diagnostics have a range of mycotoxin Biochip Arrays available with customised arrays available to suit the specific screening needs of certain producers. Each Biochip format uses a straightforward extraction process with a 50µl sample of feed, available tests include; Fumonisins, Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin G1/G2, Aflatoxin B1, Paxiline, Ergot Alkaloids, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Deoxynivalenol, T2 Toxin and Zearalenone.
For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact email@example.com
Randox celebrates British Science Week 2017
Last week was British Science Week 2017, an annual campaign that aims to inspire innovation and celebrate science. To mark the occasion, Randox Laboratories got involved by celebrating the innovation of each Randox product group. The product groups within Randox shared a series of posts, videos and blogs showcasing the #ScienceBehindRandox throughout British Science Week.
To initiate the Randox British Science Week campaign, Randox shared this video, which highlights the company’s dedication to improving health worldwide. The video provides an introduction about each product group, however throughout British Science Week, each product group has gone into further detail about the #ScienceBehindRandox.
Randox Careers, the RX series, Randox Reagents, Randox Quality Control, Randox Toxicology, Randox Biosciences, Randox Testing Services, & Randox Food Diagnostics all got involved in the British Science Week Campaign. You can read a snippet of each product groups post below, with videos and links to the full content also provided. We hope you enjoy learning about the #ScienceBehindRandox.
Randox – Dedicated to improving health wordwide.
Joanne Darragh spent some time with Randox Careers to discuss her role as R&D Toxicology Manager.
“Working in this area has been both challenging and exciting as we are at the cutting edge of assay development. We work in a great team and we work along very closely alongside other departments such as Marketing & Sales so that we are in close contact with what the customer needs, which means we are producing relevant tests very quickly and effectively. Every day brings a new challenge.”
– Joanne Darragh, R&D Toxicology Manager
Listen to what Joanne had to say on the video above
Randox RX series
As part of British Science Week, the RX series caught up with Daniel Melly, one of our very talented Mechanical Design Engineers based in Randox Teoranta in Dungloe, Ireland.
Daniel was an integral part of the team involved in the design of our new semi-automated analyser, the RX misano. The RX series asked Daniel a few questions about why Randox created this analyser, the design process involved in creating such a unique system, and what his favourite features are.
“Randox set out in creating the RX misano with the philosophy of supplying the customer with a more modern, reliable, and aesthetically pleasing analyser than those that are currently available on the market. Robust part selection was always at the fore of any design decisions, and we feel that we have delivered on all of these requirements.”
– Daniel Melly, Randox Mechanical Design Engineer
One unique test by Randox, adiponectin, is becoming an increasingly significant biomarker for health professionals. Low levels have been linked with several illnesses including metabolic syndrome, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
What is adiponectin?
Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced and secreted by fat cells called adipose tissue. Adiponectin is normally found in relatively high concentrations in healthy individuals. Its role in the body is to regulate the metabolism of lipids and glucose, which influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.
At Randox, our R&D Scientists are helping to change healthcare. By investing heavily into research and development to develop unique diagnostics tests, such as the adiponectin test, Randox provide doctors with the ability to identify disease risk sooner- offering the opportunity to prevent illness, rather than the need to find a cure.
Randox Quality Control
One Simple Change to Randox Quality Control can save your laboratory time and money.
Randox Quality Control are a world leading manufacturer of true third party controls with over 390 analytes covering Antioxidants, Blood Gas, Cardiac Markers, Routine Chemistry, Coagulation, Haematology, Diabetes, Immunoassay, Immunology, Lipids, POCT, Therapeutic Drugs, Toxicology and Urine Chemistry, providing complete test menu consolidation. Randox Quality Control produces the most consistent material available with the most accurate target values.
Randox Quality Control guarantee to simplify QC practice in any laboratory, just ask one of their 60,000 users worldwide.
Find out more information about Randox Quality Control in the video above
Randox Toxicology provides trusted solutions for the screening for drugs of abuse. With significant reinvestment in Research and Development, we persistently stay ahead of this ever challenging market. Being the first to develop New Psychoactive Substances tests such as fentanyl, bath salts and flakka allows us to maintain our position as a global leader.
Our pioneering technology has created a number of advancements in the field of toxicology. In particular, our patented Biochip Array Technology which can simultaneously screen from a multi-analyte testing platform, achieving a complete immunoassay profile from the initial screening phase.
During British Science Week, we are delighted to introduce you to our latest development utilising this technology; our Gastropanel Array,* a multiplex test engineered to diagnose those at risk of developing peptic ulcers and gastric cancer using non-invasive methods.
Our Gastropanel Array encompasses two quantitative assays, a H. pylori assay for the detection of antibodies produced in response to a H. pylori infection, a common cause of gastric cancer1 as well as a 3plex Gastropanel assay, for the detection of pepsinogen I (PGI), pepsinogen II (PGII) and gastrin 17 (G17).
Currently recorded as the world’s 5th most common cancer, the majority of gastric cancer cases are diagnosed after presenting as an emergency, when treatment may be less effective due to the cancer being at an advanced stage, highlighting the need for the availability of diagnostics tests like our Gastropanel Array to enable practitioners to administer prompt treatment and ultimately increase survival rates on a global scale.
Randox Testing Services
Randox Testing Services have shown how they are at the forefront of continually reacting and developing tests for NPS. NPS (formerley known as Legal Highs) have had devastating effects on users since emerging in the UK in 2008. These substances are highly dangerous and have caused unnecessary deaths. This is due to the effects from different elements used in production. Legislation concerning the substances changed in 2016 with the implementation of the Psychoactive Substance Act.
How have Randox Testing Services implemented change? Find out in the video above
Randox Food Diagnostics
Of the 41 antibiotics that are approved for use in food-producing animals by the FDA, 31 are medically important for human health. Randox Food Diagnostics provides advanced screening solutions for 94% of these antibiotics including beta-lactams, quinolones and tetracyclines, allowing you to ensure the integrity of your end product without compromising quality. Randox Food provides multiplex screening solutions validated across a range of matrices including urine, serum, tissue, milk, honey and feed.
The Evidence Investigator matched with Biochip Array Technology (BAT) provide the end user with fast, reliable results to aid in ensuring your produce is antibiotic free. BAT provides a platform for the simultaneous determination of multiple drug residues from a single sample using miniaturised immunoassays with implications in the reduction of sample/reagent consumption and an increase in the output of test results.
The global crisis of antimicrobial resistance is never far from the headlines. As part of World Amicrobial Awareness Week, we’ve been discussing the dangers and importantly the work being done to combat this growing threat.
There’s a very simple reason why we must all do what we can to tackle AMR. This year it’s thought 700,000 people died from drug resistant illnesses such as bacterial infections, malaria, HIV/Aids or tuberculosis. Experts warn that by 2050, this figure will rise to 10million.
Randox’s aim is to revolutionise global healthcare and we are committed to combating the threat of antibiotic resistance. We have a number of tests on the market that can help the fight against AMR, strengthen consumer confidence and ensure quality and safety for a number of different industries. So to round off this week, we spoke to two of our experts at Randox: Business Development Manager, Dr Mary Jo Kurth, and Molecular Diagnostics Manager, Dr Martin Crockard.
70% GP’s have been reported to prescribe antibiotics when they don’t know whether the infection is caused by the virus or bacteria.
At the frontline of the battle to curb AMR are the GPs but they’re not able to access the latest technology which can help them. Dr Mary Jo Kurth said, “In the current GP setting, diagnostic testing to determine whether a respiratory infection is bacterial or viral is unavailable, and therefore doctors often have to guess – or feel pressurised into prescribing antibiotics because patients demand it. However antibiotics only work to treat bacterial infections and are useless in treating infections that are caused by viruses.
“The consequences are severe. Medical procedures like organ transplantation and cancer chemotherapy need antibiotics to prevent and treat the bacterial infections that can be caused by the treatment. Without effective antibiotics, even routine operations could become high risk procedures if serious infections can’t be treated. The hard won victories against infectious diseases of the last fifty years will be jeopardized.”
Our Biosciences division have developed a test that can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 22 respiratory infections, in both the upper and lower respiratory tract, and therefore subsequently determine if an antibiotic is required as well as then identify the most effective antibiotic to take. Additionally our Confidante kit – the world’s first over-the-counter home sexual health test – can detect ten of the most common STIs with one patient sample and deliver accurate and reliable results securely and discreetly within one week. This takes the guesswork out of antibiotic prescription and could go a long way in fighting the antibiotic resistance crisis.
Dr Martin Crockard said, “Identifying the specific cause of illnesses provides opportunities to tailor treatment, reducing antibiotic misuse. Not all infections respond to antibiotics, however a multiplex approach which identifies bacterial, viral or fungal pathogens encourages improved clinical decision-making, refining treatment, leading to enhanced patient care.
“The molecular group here at Randox are developing a range of multiplex infection detection arrays to identify specific infection agents, allowing more appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient care and reduce the onset of antibiotic resistance.”
In addition to tackling AMR via medical settings, there is work that can be done to deal with it in our food. Randox Food Diagnostics offer a comprehensive range of diagnostic solutions to allow for the detection and quantification of antibiotic residues within animal and food products. With validation across a range of matrices Randox Food allows producers to ensure their products are free from antibiotic residues.
As consumer awareness develops so does the need for antibiotic screening within agriculture and food production. Guaranteeing an antibiotic-free product strengthens consumer confidence and ensures food integrity on a global scale. Randox Food offers the Evidence Investigator matched with biochip array technology to provide the end user with fast, reliable results to ensure antibiotic free produce.
The UK Government recently commissioned a two year review into the crisis. Led by Lord Jim O’Neill, the final report outlined a new system of ‘market entry rewards’ worth $1.6 billion to the successful developer of a new antibiotic, which meets a prospectively-defined criteria of ‘unmet need’. Developers of alternative therapies aimed at tackling areas where there is unmet need due to rising AMR would also be eligible for these rewards. Such rewards would be paid after a successful product comes to market.
Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies said, “Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don’t act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can’t be treated by antibiotics. That’s why governments and organisations across the world, including the World Health Organization and G8, need to take this seriously.
“This is not just about government action. We need to encourage more innovation in the development of antibiotics – over the past two decades there has been a discovery void around antibiotics, meaning diseases have evolved faster than the drugs to treat them.”
AMR will not go away on its own. It requires complex and comprehensive action across many sectors.
If you are interested in finding out more information, please visit randox.com
To coincide with the start of World Antibiotic Awareness Week the UK Government is being urged to ban excessive use of antibiotics in farming by a group of leading doctors, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Made up of 12 royal medical colleges, the British Medical Association and the Faculty of Public Health, the group say that the UK should “use the opportunity afforded by Brexit to lead the world in banning” preventative prescription of medicines on animals.
A decision made by the European Parliament earlier this year to ban mass agricultural medication has not yet been ratified by member states or the European Commission.
A Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ spokesman told the newspaper that dealing with AMR is a “top priority” though the paper notes it ‘stopped short of promising a ban.’
In 2015 McDonalds set itself a two year deadline to stop its US restaurants buying chicken raised with human antibiotics. It led to one of the US’s leading meat producers – Tyson Foods – promising to end the practice by September 2017 – which is, as The Guardian stated, “one of the most aggressive timelines yet set by an American poultry company.” The company’s CEO Donnie Smith told the newspaper: “We have found as we have reduced the level of antibiotics we use, whether it’s human use or vet-only, our cost has actually gone down. A lot of the ways we’ve been able to accomplish this is by working with our farmers on better husbandry practices. If this millennial mum wants a no-antibiotic ever..nugget we better supply that.”
Farmers Weekly reported this month on a Danish Crown initiative launched in 2015 whereby pig farmers attach an antibiotics-free tag to piglets at the neonatal stage. It’s removed at any point if antibiotic treatment is deemed necessary. It claims that although early farm trials suggest a production fall of up to 2.5 piglet per sow per year, the “premium covers additional costs if 35% or more piglets carry the tag to the slaughterhouse.”
Pig farmer Stine Mikkelsen carried out a major review of hygiene and health on her farm to reduce antimicrobial use to boost revenue by £11.25 per pig. She says that although production is down and labour costs did increase, it “feels good” to farm in this way. She told the newspaper, “I am very motivated to do something about it – it’s a hard route to take but I have a good feeling about this system.”
Randox Food Diagnostics is working with global leaders in the food industry to tackle antibiotic resistance and safeguard their use for both human and veterinary treatment.
Using a dedicated research and development team, Randox have the ability to respond rapidly to emerging new drugs of abuse and regulations in relation to food and animal safety, with sixty-five new residue drug targets are currently in development to keep up with the ever changing market of food safety. Randox Food Diagnostics are ensuring that all residue screening laboratories requirements are met by providing reliable food safety screening on a global scale.
On top of the food safety product range Randox Food also offer a range of analysers, reagents and test kits for use throughout the winemaking process to ensure quality is maintained in every bottle.
For more information on what we do, please visit: www.randoxfood.com
The RX misano is currently unavailable to purchase in Germany