BETHESDA, Md. & GAITHERSBURG, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics, a One Health company developing vaccines and diagnostic tools for global animal and public health, announced today new data from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory validating the company’s core diagnostic product, PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (PS-MTM), and its potential to inactivate highly consequential livestock and poultry viruses to support safer and more effective diagnostic testing. The results of this study may be utilized by diagnostic testing laboratories for highly pathogenic agents affecting animal and human populations to revise guidance for select agent diagnostic testing and shipment of infectious substances. The data were published in a recent preprint publication of bioRxiv.
Zoonotic diseases are a significant threat to human and animal populations and global food production. This includes the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic that has dramatically affected humans and domestic and wild animal species. Another example is the ongoing Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) pandemic that globally continues to affect wild birds and domestic poultry and, in a novel way, has crossed over to wild and domestic mammals and, occasionally, people. Additionally, high consequence foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF) and HPAI are a growing threat to US livestock and poultry because they can decimate domestic animal populations and disrupt food supplies and the food economy.
"The longer ASF continues to circulate around the globe, the greater the threat to the U.S. swine industry,” said Dr. Rosemary Sifford, APHIS Veterinary Services Deputy Administrator, and Chief Veterinary Officer. “Prevention is our best investment. If introduced here, ASF would devastate the pig herds that Americans and our trading partners rely on for food. And, if it were to become endemic, it could take us more than 10 years and about $75 billion to eradicate.”
Accurate diagnostic testing is essential for early detection and comprehensive surveillance in the event of a disease outbreak. Sample collection and processing is a bottleneck to high throughput testing. Simplifying sample collection and processing by inactivating dangerous pathogens and stabilizing nucleic acids without the need for a cold chain streamlines the testing process, effectively increasing diagnostic testing capacity.
The study, titled “Inactivation of Highly Transmissible Livestock and Avian Viruses Including Influenza A and Newcastle Disease Virus for Molecular Diagnostics,” found:
- PS-MTM completely inactivates viruses representing highly contagious animal diseases in the presence of species-relevant sample matrices. Infectivity results show that PS-MTM-treated viruses were completely inactivated at all timepoints compared to control-treated viruses.
- These data suggest that highly contagious agents are effectively inactivated by PS-MTM without compromising the nucleic acid needed for diagnostic testing. These data provide support that this inactivation method can be utilized during sample collection to reduce constraints in disease diagnostics and in reagent sharing among international laboratories.
“This study further validates just how valuable the PS-MTM diagnostic approach is for increasing capacity and reducing costs through a diagnostic workflow,” said Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics Senior Vice President Jerry Torrison, DVM, PhD. “Samples from animals can be challenging because components within them interfere with molecular tests. Add to that the biosafety and biosecurity risks of transporting high consequence disease samples and the typical need to keep samples cold. The capability to collect a sample and transport it to a lab is revolutionary in terms of safety and simplicity, allowing multiple sample types to be collected in one device.”
The eight authors of the study are all researchers with the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, IA.
To access the bioRxiv article, visit https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2023.09.13.557451v1
For more information about Longhorn, visit www.LHNVD.com.
About Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics
Longhorn Vaccines and Diagnostics LLC is a One Health company based in Maryland that is developing vaccines and diagnostic tools for worldwide public health concerns and to prevent future pandemics. Since its inception in 2006, Longhorn has focused on developing vaccines and diagnostic tools that can impact a pandemic on a global scale and at all socio-economic levels. Since pandemics flow between humans and animals, Longhorn caters to both in order to surveil, diagnose, prevent and treat the next infectious disease.
Longhorn’s core product, PrimeStore® Molecular Transport Medium (MTM), is a patented, FDA cleared, state-of-the-art ambient temperature molecular diagnostic collection and transport device that can help governments, global health organizations, and drug manufacturers improve the diagnosis and treatment of highly infectious diseases such as Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). Unlike standard devices for collecting and transporting virus samples, PrimeStore® MTM is the first molecular transport device that can safely inactivate pathogens and stabilize RNA and DNA, allowing enhanced point of care and ambient temperature transport for laboratory based molecular testing and characterization.