Roving Reporter

March, 2003 - Most Current is Listed First

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Rapid END Testing
March 14, 2003

Some comments were made on this site in regard to the new rapid END testing that we have now revised for a couple of reasons. More media stories have appeared in this regard and they have been added to our rapid END test link. Additionally, we were told that this new test is apparently not being relied on completely at this point but it is felt that the test is a useful screening test. It was also reported by one Task Force Public Information Officer that this test is not yet being used for this outbreak of END.

This makes it a confusing issue at best, so, the interpretation here is based on strictly public news as featured in the released stories. You may verfiy the interpretations for yourself by visiting our (LINK) for the stories which pertain solely to rapid END testing.

It seems that "a recently" quarantined flock in Riverside County had been "slated for depopulation" but due to the RANCH VET, the flock was spared and the government was saved close to one million dollars in indemnities. The standard END test "showed the birds had a virus in the same family as exotic Newcastle." Had the ranch vet not intervened, it certainly appears that another commercial flock would have been killed due to the decision made by the Task Force who was not using the "new fangled" and "not yet proven" PCR test.

A microbiologist has offered this explanation in regard to the postive test:

"The Non approved (used by cock-fighters and available in Mexico) vaccine will show a false positive on the standard test.

The vaccine is an attenuated non pathogenic strain of the ND virus that is designed to spread through the hens in a poultry facility without the need for individual inoculations. In other words the vaccine is contagious.

Exposure to vaccinated birds will transmit the vaccine strain and hence the false positive.

Cock-fighters or any other misguided people vaccinating their birds will create more END positive locations for the TF and propagate this insanity.

If the new test had been applied from the beginning I wonder how many ND positives would have been due to a non pathogenic strain?

An attenuated vaccination strain while non pathogenic can often cause some mild symptoms which would red flag a flock for testing.

We need to promote the use of this new test. From an economical point of view eliminating false positives saves money spent depopulating unnecessary sites. As well as the quoted benefits from the epidemiological stand point."

In another media story, we note that at William S. Hart in Newhall, the park staff called the USDA on Sunday to report a sick turkey, the Task Force tested three of the park's hens, found them positive and killed them on Wednesday. If the "new fangled" test was not used, one wonders how it was possible to get the test results in such a short period of time.

The rapid END test was invented by a research center that has been known more for war than other things. This test is certainly not the way the Task Force did things in the 1970's so one would guess it will take time for acceptance.

If this site has misinterpreted anything in this regard, it is suggested that the media be contacted directly, since any interpretaions made here are based strictly on their reporting.

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