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***Sheep Scab Blood Test***
Sheep that have been infested with the sheep scab mite produce antibodies specific to a mite protein. The test can detect these antibodies in the blood of affected animals within 2 weeks of a mite infestation. Skin scraping can only effectively diagnose scab once lesions have developed (this can be several weeks after the initial infestation). This sensitive diagnostic test is a major step forward in controlling and preventing further spread of the… disease.
• Sensitive detection – detects disease before clinical signs appear limiting the spread of infection.
•Detects sheep scab within 2 weeks of mite infestation – informs rapid treatment and control strategies.
• Accurate diagnosis of scab – highly specific, will not detect other ectoparasites such as lice, ensures correct treatment prescribed.
When to use the test?
• Testing of individual animals e.g. when sheep scab infestation is suspected.
• Whole flock testing to detect the presence or confirm the absence of sheep scab, e.g. hogs returning from wintering pasture.
• Use as a biosecurity tool prior to introduction of new stock onto farms,
e.g rams or breeding females
• Use as a surveillance tool for scab, e.g. test rams before and after introduction to a flock.
• Eradication programs – use to confirm effectiveness of treatment or eradication of disease.
How many sheep should be tested in a flock?
For use on a whole flock or management group test 6-12 sheep from the group (up to a group size of 2,000).
The current price of the blood test at the lab is £8.50 plus VAT per animal (plus blood sampling fee).