Bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis are two of the most important diseases of livestock and wildlife but testing facilities able to provide much needed diagnostic services are scarce. The reason is that only veterinary laboratories authorized by Government and accredited by SANAS (South African National Accreditation System) are permitted to offer diagnostic services pertaining to controlled animal diseases.
The Department Veterinary Tropical Diseases (DVTD) at the Faculty of Veterinary Science has obtained both SANAS accreditation and Government approval to render a diagnostic service for bovine brucellosis serology (RBT and CFT) and culture for tuberculosis in all animal species.
For a diagnostic laboratory to obtain accreditation for one or more diagnostic tests entails a lengthy, labour-intensive and very costly process of implementing a functional and fully-fledged quality system that meets the specific requirements of technical and management competencies of ISO/IEC 17025. It must also prove that these competencies are maintained at all times and regularly audited.
What is the incentive for a laboratory to go this route? In short, laboratory accreditation provides customers with the assurance that up-to-date, verified test methods are used to generate quality test results (i.e. measurement accuracies, traceability, reproducibility etc.) which are locally and internationally recognised. Laboratories able to provide this service are therefore preferred service providers and internationally recognised themselves.
Relevant specimen submission forms for these diagnostic services provided by the Department can be downloaded by following the links for brucellosis serology and tuberculosis culture.
Above: Laboratory testing (Complement fixation test) for bovine brucellosis