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Data affirm KeyScreen’s value in detecting zoonotic Giardia and treatment-resistant hookworm: Florida dogs show high treatment resistance

For 28.7% of canine participants in Florida study, standard treatment for hookworm is ineffective

Austin, TX —June 23, 2022—ACVIM Forum booth 713—Antech Diagnostics, operating North America’s largest network of diagnostic reference laboratories in veterinary medicine, will present three abstracts showing that its novel molecular diagnostic test for intestinal parasites in cats and dogs, KeyScreen® GI Parasite PCR, accurately finds treatment-resistance (A. caninum benzimidazole resistance) for hookworm infection in dogs and zoonotic Giardia in cats and dogs. Additionally, a study of pet dogs in Florida showed high frequency of treatment-resistant hookworm across a broad range of breeds. Antech’s Director of Molecular Diagnostics, R&D, Dr. Christian M. Leutenegger, will present the data at the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) 2022 Forum, which begins today.

KeyScreen relies on the most advanced diagnostic platform in human and animal medicine to detect 20 intestinal parasites in cats and dogs as well as emerging issues in veterinary medicine, A. caninum benzimidazole resistance and A/B assemblages of Giardia duodenalis: both present human health risks. As treatment resistance grows, and parasites continue to increase, mutate and migrate, veterinary medicine requires new diagnostic tools like KeyScreen that offer greater sensitivity, accuracy and are more complete than traditional screening tools. The new studies presented at ACVIM Forum demonstrate KeyScreen’s value as a highly sensitive method for detecting more disease as well as emerging threats to both human and animal health.

The study abstract, “High Frequency of the Benzimidazole Resistance Genetic Marker in the Pet Dog Population in Florida,” showed that 25 of 87 fecal samples that were hookworm-positive as determined by routine ova and parasite (O&P) screening also carried the genetic marker for benzimidazole resistance, suggesting that current routine treatment would likely be ineffective. Anthelmintic resistance was once contained to Greyhounds. However, study data showed that a variety of dog breeds carry the resistance gene, including German Shepherds, Boxers, Golden doodles, Yorkshire terriers, Labrador retrievers, Basenjis, Siberian huskies, American Staffordshire terriers, Beagles, Australia cattle dogs, poodles, dachshunds and mixed breeds. The opportunity for routine identification of the genetic marker for treatment resistance will help veterinarians identify this resistance and guide treatment choices.

Christian M. Leutenegger, Dr.Med.Vet., B.Sc., Ph.D., FVH, Director of Molecular Diagnostics, R&D at Antech, who is KeyScreen’s inventor and lead investigator of the study commented: “When we introduced KeyScreen in January, I posited that ‘we don’t know what we don’t know’ about emerging parasitic threats due to the limitations of traditional screening technology. With more than a quarter of the stool samples containing hookworms with resistance to benzimidazoles, this view has borne true. Treatment-resistant hookworm has been an emerging threat for several years. Now that we have a window into where and in what populations it exists, we’ll be able to make better, more effective treatment decisions that can protect pets, people and help contain benzimidazole resistance, which—if it continues unabated—can severely impact both human and animal health and well-being.”

In a second study abstract, “Comparison of qPCR and centrifugal flotation for the detection of Ancylostomainexperimentally infected Beagles,” researchers compared KeyScreen with O&P for the detection of Ancylostoma caninum and Ancylostoma spp. While overall agreement was 97.5%, KeyScreen detected Ancylostoma caninum eggs in feces earlier, day 17 vs. day 28, and more consistently than O&P, confirming its high sensitivity.

A final study abstract, “Differentiating Giardia duodenalis assemblages with a novel beta-giardin PCR assay,” found that KeyScreen accurately identified the A/B assemblages of Giardia duodenalis, which have zoonotic potential. These data suggest that KeyScreen can provide a new method for determining zoonotic risk, allowing veterinary teams to guide pet owners appropriately to protect at-risk individuals who may come in contact with the affected pet.

Molecular diagnostics read the genetic material of a parasite or virus, making KeyScreen the most advanced parasite screening test in veterinary medicine. KeyScreen is practical for use in routine wellness exams: it is affordable, detects 20 parasites from a single, storable 0.15 gram sample, and offers next-day results for most North American practices. Significantly, KeyScreen can be substituted for traditional “fecals,” liberating veterinary staff for patient care, which is uniquely valuable during this time of veterinary staff shortages amidst dramatic increases in pet ownership. Additionally, by finding more disease the first time, while also checking for zoonotic assemblages and resistance markers, KeyScreen supports further cost and efficiency gains by eliminating the time and resource strain of repeat pet visits for persistent symptoms. Using KeyScreen, veterinarians can deliver the right treatment to pets the first time, helping them regain health faster.

For more information about KeyScreen visit and the press release announcing the new test: “Antech introduces veterinary medicine’s most advanced parasite screening test.”

At ACVIM Forum:

“Differentiating Giardia duodenalis assemblages with a novel beta-giardin PCR assay,”Thursday, June 23, 2022; 1:25 pm CT

“High Frequency of the Benzimidazole Resistance Genetic Marker in the Pet Dog Population in Florida”—June 24, 2022, at 8:30 am CT

“Comparison of qPCR and centrifugal flotation for the detection of Ancylostomainexperimentally infected Beagles”June 24, 2022, at 8:45 am CT

About Antech

At the heart of Antech is our love for pets. We combine innovative technologies backed by scientific rigor with data-driven insights and consultative moments to help veterinarians and their teams improve the health and well-being of the pets we love. Our commitment to customers spans more than 30 years and celebrates their dedication to setting new standards in pet care quality, which we support through innovative diagnostic, imaging, education and support services. Today, Antech is driving the future of pet health as part of Mars Veterinary Health, a family-owned enterprise focused on veterinary care. Visit us at Follow us on InstagramTwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

Media: Shanti Skiffington 617.921.0808