Livestock News Technology

PenCheck now available to help stop the spread of ASF


PenCheck, a new rapid test for African swine fever, has shown impressive results in a clinical study. Silver Lake Research Corporation makes and manufactures PenCheck, the only low-cost rapid African swine fever test on the market with accuracy rates greater than 95 percent. The test can be easily administered pen-side with results in just 20 minutes, to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. African swine fever has killed millions of pigs across Asia and Europe, with an enormous and costly impact on the global meat market.

Once the virus started to spread, researchers, scientists, and developers at Silver Lake immediately went to work to develop an easy-to-use test. Using just a drop of blood from the pig or boar along with a few drops of water, the test was designed with a simple protocol, such that screening may be accomplished confidently in any environment.

Dr. Juergen Richt, DVM, PhD at Kansas State University, conducted an independent clinical validation study to determine the accuracy of PenCheck. The sensitivity of PenCheck was 95.5 percent, with a specificity of 99.3 percent. In the sensitivity tests, it correctly identified 21 out of 22 pigs with moderate to severe symptoms of African swine fever. In the specificity tests, PenCheck was found to be very dependable. In 144 pigs with no prior symptoms, the test correctly determined 143 pigs did not carry the virus.

The study concluded:

  • In symptomatic animals, a positive test result is a highly reliable indicator of African swine fever.
  • In animals with moderate to severe symptoms, PenCheck can be used to detect African swine fever with high sensitivity.
  • PenCheck may be used as the foundation for an effective and inexpensive monitoring program for swine populations, focused on early detection of African swine fever exposure in symptomatic animals.

A manuscript with the entire details of the clinical study is currently in preparation.

PenCheck is in the early stages of being marketed across affected regions of Asia and Europe, and Silver Lake Research is actively seeking distribution partners to navigate regulatory and other licensing requirements in all affected Asian and European countries. Silver Lake Research also is currently pursuing a license with the USDA.

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