SwiftDetect bTB

Our super-sensitive PCR test can detect down to a single microbiological cell in any sample volume. We’ve eliminated the need to culture, saving valuable time and improving accuracy.




What is SwiftDetect?

SwiftDetect bTB is a novel detection method for the zoonotic pathogen Mycobacterium bovis, the cause of bovine TB (bTB). Our test can detect down to one cell with the highest sensitivity and specificity in a variety of samples, including tissue homogenate, faeces and blood in volumes up to 100ml.
SwiftDetect is 56 times faster than other diagnostic methods currently used for the detection of bovine TB.

Why is SwiftDetect needed?

The current and outdated tuberculin skin test method, while capable of detecting an immune response to tuberculin within cattle, does not detect for the presence of active low-level infection by M. bovis. This leads to false negative results, missing up to 25% of bTB-infected cattle. Infected cattle can then remain in the herd and continue to reinfect each other.

37 million bTB tests conducted in the UK since 2014

Currently testing and compensation to farmers costs the taxpayer £100 million per annum, and this cost is predicted to increase if better diagnostic methods are not developed to curb the spread of bTB and for the UK to achieve TB-free status by 2038.

Before Microgenetics SwiftDetect test, it was accepted that to quantify and identify the number of bacteria present in the environment or infected cattle, the only option was to culture them, taking up to one month to culture. Here, our test makes use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the gold standard for molecular biology detection techniques.