Fountain Valley, Calif. — September 17, 2020 — Antech Diagnostics, part of Mars Veterinary Health, announced today the availability of its DNA-based test for the most common fungal organisms causing Ringworm in dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and small rodents. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the gold standard for molecular diagnostics in human and veterinary in vitro diagnostics, the FastPanel® Ringworm PCR test detects the most comprehensive group of Ringworm-causing fungal organisms in veterinary medicine. Antech also offers confirmatory culture using the same sample. Available immediately, the test offers high sensitivity and specificity as well as a rapid turnaround, a combination that can help veterinarians prevent new and secondary infections by speeding access to effective treatment.

Ringworm is a skin infection caused by a fungus and characterized by itchy, ring-shaped rashes. Easily spread between animals and from animals to people, early diagnosis is critical so that treatment, often lengthy and expensive, can begin quickly. Offering the most comprehensive testing panel in veterinary medicine, Antech’s FastPanel Ringworm PCR test detects Microsporum and Trichophyton fungal organisms at the genus level and the three most important species that cause Ringworm infections in domestic animals; Microsporum canis, the M. gypseum complex (new designation: Arthroderma gypseum, A. fulvum, A. incurvatum), and the Trichophyton mentagrophytes complex (new designation: Arthroderma benhamiae, A. vanbreuseghemii). Significantly, veterinarians can access FastPanel Ringworm PCR analysis alone or combined with dermatophyte culture with the same patient sample. The panel is fast, sensitive, specific, and can be run in a high throughput format.

“The #1 reason pet owners visit a veterinarian is for an itchy pet, and Ringworm can be the cause,” said Jennifer Ogeer, BSc., DVM, MSc., MBA, MA, VP Medical Affairs. “For Ringworm, key opinion leaders recommend PCR testing either in combination with dermatophyte culture or as a stand-alone diagnostic test to confirm infection and determine the proper treatment. The combination of high diagnostic accuracy, fast turnaround time, and the option for confirmatory culture from the same sample make this particular DNA-based test uniquely valuable in delivering effective treatment quickly to affected animals, a critical factor toward safeguarding both animal and human health from this challenging-to-treat skin disease.”

The new test features several important attributes, supporting early access to effective treatment, which can help limit the spread of infection:

  • Positive and negative results are available simultaneously, allowing immediate assessment of the infection status of the patient.
  • Fungal cultures use the same sample: plucked hair samples, skin scrapings, or hairbrushes, saving pet owners time and money.
  • Results are available within 1 to 3 business days of sample receipt.
  • High sensitivity and fast turnaround time enable veterinarians to deliver treatment quickly as well as rule in/rule out infections and identify fomites and/or carriers in exposed but asymptomatic animals.

Several studies support the analytical and clinical validity of the FastPanel Ringworm PCR test:

  • All five PCR tests passed analytical sensitivity and amplification efficiency tests.
  • A clinical validation study showed that the PCR tests correlate highly with culture; the clinical validation study using dermatophyte culture left-over samples confirmed the high correlation between PCR and dermatophyte culture.
  • A representative number of positive samples were subjected to Sanger gene sequencing using outside flanking primers, which confirmed the effectiveness of the PCR assays to amplify only the specific sequences.

For additional detail on clinical validation and supporting data, please access the downloadable white paper.