8 June 2021
UK vet practices looking to tackle antimicrobial resistance can now benefit from a free three-week trial of an in-house sensitivity test produced by diagnostics company Test and Treat. The U-Treat test, which enables vets to diagnose a urinary tract infection (UTI) in dogs or cats and gain antibiotic sensitivity results in less than two hours, could prove a valuable tool to help reduce empirical antibiotic prescribing. With antimicrobial resistance now dubbed a potential ‘silent pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides,1 solutions that support responsible prescribing are urgently needed to avert a future global healthcare crisis.
The U-Treat test, which was named a finalist in the Vet Record Innovation Award this year, is the first in-house veterinary diagnostic test to detect the presence of bacteria and determine antibiotic sensitivity at the point of care. In the free trial, which is available to all vet practices in the UK, practices will be supplied with the U-Treat equipment and consumables and training will be provided on how to perform the tests.
The technology will help vets work against the development of antimicrobial resistance, which is crucially important in the current global situation. Rachel Kirkby MRCVS, Business Development Director at Test and Treat, explains how important this is. “Since we rely so heavily on antibiotics in human healthcare, resistance could ultimately result in serious risks from routine surgery and common infections,” she says. “Across the veterinary community we can all do our bit in this battle. We’re proud that our U-Treat test can help vets reduce empirical prescribing, and we’re pleased to help more practices explore this option with a three-week free trial.”
The U-Treat technology can be used in two stages: Test 1 is a 30-minute assay to detect the presence of bacteriuria, and Test 2 is a sensitivity test to determine susceptibility to common antibiotics. By using these tests, vets can prescribe responsibly with confidence, without waiting for lab results.
Rachel Kirkby explains that the wait for lab results is currently a significant barrier for vets who wish to perform sensitivity testing. “It often takes a couple of days for culture and sensitivity results to come back, and this raises logistical difficulties,” she says. “Point-of-care testing can really help here – we conducted a survey earlier this year and found that 97% of vets felt they would be more likely to offer sensitivity testing if they had an in-house test. We know a lot of vets would like to see what it’s like to have that testing capability close at hand, and our free trial should facilitate that.”
After the three-week free trial period, vet practices will be offered the option of starting a 12-month U-Treat subscription including further training and a monthly supply of consumables. This subscription will be offered at a discounted rate for practices completing the trial. Vets interested to learn more about the free trial can get in touch with Test and Treat’s National Sales Manager Jo Nickerson RVN by email, on Jo.Nickerson@tandtreat.com, and further information is also available here.