Journal of Clinical Microbiology, April 2005, p. 1745-1751, Vol. 43, No. 4 http://jcm.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/43/4/1745
Use of an Electronic Nose To Diagnose Mycobacterium bovis Infection in Badgers and CattleExtract: "..... an accurate in vitro test for badgers is needed urgently to determine the extent of the reservoir of infection cheaply and without destroying badgers. For cattle, a rapid on-farm test to complement the existing tests (the skin test and gamma interferon assay) would be highly desirable. To this end, we have investigated the potential of an electronic nose (EN) to diagnose infection of cattle or badgers with M. bovis, using a serum sample. Samples were obtained from both experimentally infected badgers and cattle, as well as naturally infected badgers. Without exception, the EN was able to discriminate infected animals from controls as early as 3 weeks after infection with M. bovis, the earliest time point examined postchallenge. The EN approach described here is a straightforward alternative to conventional methods of TB diagnosis, and it offers considerable potential as a sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective means of diagnosing M. bovis infection in cattle and badgers. .."
Link to Full Text Extract from Conclusion
"With the urgent need to develop more sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective means of diagnosing M. bovis infection in cattle and badgers, the EN approach described here offers considerable potential. The method is not only easy to perform, and therefore does not require a specifically trained technician, but is also cost- and time-effective, since, once validated, it would dispense with the need for the isolation of M. bovis by culture (which is protracted and costly) or repeated visits to the farm (in the case of the cattle skin test). Furthermore, the technology is amenable to automation and/or condensation into a portable device that could eventually permit the rapid testing of large numbers of animals in situ."