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Prevent unnecessary spreading of crop diseases with on-site test kits

Agdia-Biofords' Flashkit® (ImmunoStrips®) diagnostic tests have been around on the market for more than 10 years, and their popularity is continuously growing. Recently we have seen that the tests can especially contribute in the case of testing on Clavibacter and Tomato Mosaic Virus. We spoke with Agdia-Biofords’ Salima Berkani and Marcos Amato about how their kits can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage.

Flashkits® (ImmunoStrip®) can help growers to detect easily different plant pathogens. This detection test is simple as it does not require special equipments or technical qualifications. It is composed of a plastic bag and strip. The sample is ground in the bag containing a specific extraction buffer, and a strip is then introduced vertically inside the bag. After 15-30 minutes the grower can read the results and take the corresponding decisions. If one line appears on the strip the test is negative, if two lines appear the test is considered positive for the pathogen tested.

Agdia tests are successful because they are reliable, sensitive and cost effective. They are also very accurate and easy to use; Agdia makes sure to update the properties of the tests as soon as there is new information available in regards to new pests, diseases and change in pathogen strains. These tests are as sensitive as their comparable ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) tests used in diagnostic labs.

Thanks to the test, growers can determine infections in a few minutes. "A test can be performed right on the field or in the greenhouse, basically the grower doesn’t even need to leave the spot”, said Agdia-Biofords' general manager Marcos Amato. In this case, further spreading of the disease or virus is prevented.

With the flashkits, growers are not required to send samples to the laboratory and a lot of time and money can be saved. Also, the laboratories can be really busy in certain periods of the year, which can delay the analysis and result in severe crop infection if the delay is considerable. With these kits, the crop can be tested in just half an hour on the very spot.

According to Salima Berkani, ‎International Marketing & Sales Manager at Agdia-Biofords, many growers also favour the test to analyse materials and cuttings that enter their operations. "An increasing amount of growers use our kits to test material just before planting, especially if the source or health status of the plant material is not fully known”.

Purchasing Agdia's kits is an economical alternative for expansive laboratory tests. "Our test will never replace the work that a lab analysis can perform, but it is a perfect help for farmers and on-site testing, and can be seen as an extra help for the farmer. If our test confirms the presence of a pathogen especially in the case of a quarantine pathogen, we recommend the farmer to contact a laboratory to test the sample with an additional method”.

Agdia puts a lot of effort to keep the tests up to date. "We must work on them continuously in order to keep them sensitive and specific as new strains of the pathogens continuously arise", Amato said. "He explained that the detectability of certain pests, diseases and viruses is different and very dynamic. For example, in case of a positive bacterium test of Clavibacter, the company recommends the growers to perform a confirmation analysis. This can be done in the laboratories of Agdia as well.

The recent Clavibacter outbreaks in the Netherlands are a good example of using the tests in practice. “In the last years there have been cyclic outbreaks of Clavibacter. Nowadays, with the fast movement of planting material from all over the world, it is very easy to introduce a new pathogen in a given country or reintroduce a pathogen that was considered as eradicated. Thus, a security testing is never unjustified. Growers find these tests very useful to determine a possible outbreak in the greenhouse, which prevents them from spreading the disease throughout their greenhouse. It can really prevent a lot of unnecessary damage in this case.

You can purchase these Flashkits® (ImmunoStrips®) directly from Agdia-Biofords if you are located in Europe, Africa or Middle-East:
Phone : 00 33 (0) 1 60 78 81 64
Email : [email protected]
Twitter: @AgdiaBiofords