Representing two decades of foundational research and a new standard of care in veterinary medicine, Antech Diagnostics announced today veterinary medicine’s most sensitive test for intestinal parasites affecting cats and dogs. KeyScreen GI Parasite PCR, a molecular diagnostic test, detects 20 parasites, including anthelmintic drug-resistant hookworm and zoonotic Giardia from a single, storable 0.15 gram sample. Antech’s investment in molecular technology, including 10 testing locations across North America, supports affordable next-day results, making advanced molecular parasite screening practical for routine wellness exams
Parasites are increasing, migrating and mutating. Zoonotic diseases, opportunistic animal diseases that can infect humans, are on the rise. In veterinary medicine, treatment-resistant hookworms are also an emerging threat to canine health. The need to better understand, detect and treat parasitic threats effectively has never been greater. However, today’s parasitic infection challenges have outpaced the capabilities of existing screening tests, the most common being the 100-year-old Ova and Parasite (O&P) diagnostic protocol. Available diagnostics are neither sensitive nor comprehensive enough to detect the breadth of parasites that are of significant concern to pet health: they can’t identify zoonotic potential, nor can they detect treatment resistance. The lack of diagnostic advancement in the last decade has made it difficult to understand when and what treatment is required or if there’s a human health risk. Overtreatment can follow, which only exacerbates the threat of treatment resistance
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us—with vivid clarity—how human and animal health are interconnected, the danger and speed of mutations, and the critical need for sensitive, fast, affordable diagnostic testing,” said Christian M. Leutenegger, Dr.Med.Vet., B.Sc., Ph.D., FVH, Director of Molecular Diagnostics, R&D at Antech and inventor of KeyScreen GI Parasite PCR test. “Emerging challenges like multiple drug resistance in hookworms and the presence of zoonotic parasites require focused attention, but current diagnostics lack the sensitivity that we need to find and treat parasites appropriately and effectively. Molecular testing is a sophisticated new tool with numerous advantages, including an exquisite ability to have a lens into the DNA of a parasite. I like to say that ‘molecular testing can tell you what color eyes the parasite has.’ Current and unrecognized threats demand this level of precision to ensure animal and human well-being.”
Molecular methodology reads the genetic material of a parasite or virus, making it the most powerful diagnostic platform in human and animal medicine. KeyScreen advances veterinarians’ ability to identify, treat and protect pets and pet owners from disease by detecting 20 parasites from a single 0.15 gram sample, which can be stored for up to 10 days with refrigeration. Leveraging a substantial investment in molecular technology, KeyScreen is affordable and offers next-day results for most North American practices, making it practical for routine screening and annual wellness exams.
“Parasites are a major threat to the health of both pets and their families, especially as we’ve seen the threat of parasites expanding into new areas over the years,” said I. Craig Prior, B.V.Sc., C.V.J. Board Member, Past-President, Companion Animal Parasite Council. “I welcome innovations like this that provide my veterinary colleagues better and better tools to detect parasitic disease and continue their leadership in preventative medicine, and the One Health initiative for the family.”