South Korea's animal quarantine agency said Sunday that its has developed the world's first diagnosis kit that can simultaneously check three different types of foot-and-mouth disease strains.
The kit is able to detect the O, A and Asia 1 serum types of the highly contagious disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, deer, goats, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency said. It said the latest kit can tell if an animal has been infected within 15 minutes.
FMD is classified as a "List A" disease by the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health. Countries that report the disease with countries barred from exporting meat from cloven hoofed animals if a outbreak is detected.
The development is important because it can allow quarantine workers to respond quickly to different virus outbreaks that can have serious impact on the livestock industry and meat trade.
Previous kits were designed to usually detect one type of FMD, which limited their effectiveness in real world situations.
In February of this year South Korea reported both the O and A type of FMD, but animal quarantine officials had a hard time determining if an outbreak occurred due to the restrictions of the diagnosis kit they possessed at the time.
APQA said there are various research underway abroad to develop a detection kit similar to the one it made, but none have yet to be made for actual use. (Yonhap)