Equine Diagnostics Development

Strangles Stall Side Diagnostic

Streptococcus equi is the bacteria that causes Strangles, a highly contagious equine respiratory disease with enormous economic impact. Eradication has not been accomplished due to the lack of a rapid test allowing for immediate action to quarantine the infected horse and eliminate transmission.

To address the need for a rapid diagnostic test for Strangles, Maine Biotechnology Services developed monoclonal antibody reagents specific for Streptococcus equi surface protein, SeM. The resultant matched pair, MAB211P and MAB212P, are intended use in the development of a  lateral flow rapid stall side assay to aid in the diagnosis and management of strangles outbreaks.  A prototype assay was tested in a small scale field trial, side by side with quantitative PCR of both Strep equi and strep zoo (ancestor of strep equi), to assess test performance (positive and negative predictive rates, sensitivity and specificity) using nasal swabs from a known infected herd of horses. MBS worked with a consultant from the diagnostic industry who specializes in signal amplification technologies to refine the identification of Strep equi in the lowest levels possible.

Presentation of Field Trial Results

MBS is seeking a commercial partner to bring a stall side assay for the detection of Strep equi (Strangles) to market. MBS brings validated antibody reagents and years of R&D to the partnership. Please contact MBS for more information on licensing opportunities.

Equine Ovulation Test Kit

Maine Biotechnology Services applied for, and has been awarded a technology seed grant from the Maine Technology Institute for the commercial development of a rapid, point of care test to determine the optimum breeding time for competitive horses.  MBS invested expertise and resources into the development of exceptional antibodies for the recognition of equine LH and progesterone.  MBS scientists took great care to design and select antibodies and assay formats that would consistently detect both hormones with adequate sensitivity.  Through a collaboration with University of Maine in Orono, the prototype assays were used in a small clinical field study to validate the the utility of tracking hormones for improved breeding efficiency.
MBS acquired an MTI seed grant with the intent to integrate the antibodies into a lateral flow, point of care test to measure both equine progesterone and LH as a method of predicting ovulation in breeding mares. The test will fill a significant need in the multi-billion dollar horse industry.  Current methods are expensive, invasive, and only results in a successful pregnancy fifty percent of the time.  Once refinement of the lateral flow assay is complete, MBS will be seeking appropriate veterinary sales partners to distribute the test worldwide.

Please contact MBS for more information on licensing opportunities.