On-the-spot test breeds success – AgPlus develops canine progesterone assay for BioTest Diagnostics

AgPlus technology will help to ensure successful fertilization in canine breeding programs

UK diagnostics development company, AgPlus Diagnostics, is to collaborate with New Zealand, Hawks Bay-based BioTest Diagnostics Ltd in the development of a rapid and convenient test for canine progesterone that will be used to pinpoint accurately the narrow window for artificial insemination in canine breeding programs.  Utilizing the unique handheld AgPlus analytical technology, this powerful quantitative test will allow breeders and veterinary practitioners to monitor breeding cycles closely on site in order to increase the likelihood of successful fertilization.

The timing and length of canine heat cycles can vary between species, between animals of the same species and even between cycles in the same animal, making it difficult to predict the ideal time for breeding.  To further complicate matters, the egg requires about 2 days to mature following ovulation, remaining fertile for just 2-3 days.  In addition, whereas fresh sperm survives for 5-7 days, frozen sperm straws are viable for less than 24 hours, which makes the window of opportunity for successful fertilization extremely narrow.

Close monitoring of progesterone levels can help to predict when the female is about to ovulate, when the egg is fertile, and the ideal time for insemination.  Until now, the accurate quantitative measurements that are required for such monitoring have involved sending samples to the laboratory for analysis.  This limits the number of tests that can be performed and incurs delays that can be problematic with such tight timescales.  With AgPlus technology, rapid, accurate and quantitative progesterone measurements will be obtained conveniently at the site of breeding, allowing tests to be performed as frequently as required and providing the best opportunity for successful fertilization.

“The AgPlus technology platform is ideal for testing at the point of care where fast and reliable decision making is of vital importance.  It has a wide range of potential applications and we are very pleased to have the opportunity to meet this need in the veterinary arena,” comments AgPlus Diagnostics Chief Executive Officer, Keith Page.

The collaborative development contract between AgPlus Diagnostics and BioTest Diagnostics will give BioTest Diagnostics preferential rights for the commercial supply of this unique new veterinary diagnostic test.

BioTest Diagnostics Managing Director Mike Seawright, comments, “We are delighted to collaborate with AgPlus Diagnostics on the development of this unique new canine progesterone assay, for which there is already a great deal of interest in the veterinary market.  We see this as a valuable addition to our point of care diagnostics offering.” The company’s executive chairman, Richard Wood of B.T.D “also states that these are exciting times in the development and marketing of point of care diagnostic technology. We are delighted to be business partners with AgPlus in the development of the progesterone diagnostic, and other disease related tests.

Delivering laboratory-grade, quantifiable results within just 10 minutes of sample application the portable AgPlus technology system has enormous potential in a wide variety of applications where a rapid, accurate and sensitive result is important.

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