It uses technology similar to a form of test the same research team recently created to detect COVID and other infections in humans. The human test is now moving toward the marketplace with public research funding and corporate support.
The animal test, once it becomes widely available, is expected to be a valuable tool for identifying and isolating outbreaks in farm settings, and for limiting the possibility of animal-to-human transmission of infections, which is believed to be the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The work has been published in the influential German science journal Angewandte Chemie, which has identified it as a “very important paper” – a specific and rare distinction. The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The test works by mixing a small saliva sample with a chemical reagent and applying the blend to a small microchip reader, which is in turn attached to a smartphone, which displays the results in minutes.