The Inflammatory Cell Differential Counter, A New Tool to Combat Mastitis On-Site
Department of Agriculture
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Small Business Information
Advanced Animal Diagnostics, Inc.
21 Davis Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC, 27709
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractMastitis, an infection of the milk-producing glands of dairy cows, is a $5 billion problem worldwide. The current, on-site method used to diagnose mastitis, and to monitor its incidence, is to count the total number of "body cells" (white cells and other body cells) present in the milk. There has been little change to this method over the last ten years. Academic studies, conducted with complex instruments, have shown that identifying and counting each of the different white cells, that rise and fall in response to infections, would be a superior method to diagnose and monitor mastitis, and to evaluate udder health. For example, the best indicator of an active bacterial infection is the rise in the number of one specific kind of infection-fighting white cell, known as a "neutrophil" Unfortunately, the complex instruments used in those academic studies are impractical for use in a dairy farm. Advanced Animal Diagnostics proposes to develop an "on site" device, the Inflammatory Cell Differential Counter (ICDC), which (1) has the ability to differentiate infection-fighting inflammatory cells-e.g. neutrophils-from other cells (2) requires minimum operator judgment or training, and (3) is more accurate than existing tools, especially at the early stages of infection. The ICDC takes a digital picture of each cell, which makes it less susceptible to misidentification and other errors. In summary, the ICDC is expected to bring to the farm a level of performance previously available only in a sophisticated laboratory, and yet, is envisioned to be simple, rugged and inexpensive.
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