Antech introduces veterinary medicine’s most advanced parasite screening test

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ORLANDO, Fla., January 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — NAVC Veterinary Meeting and Expo (VMX) Booth #4222 — Representing two decades of fundamental research and a new standard of care in veterinary medicine, Antech Diagnostics today announced veterinary medicine’s most sensitive test for intestinal parasites affecting cats and dogs. KeyScreen™ GI Parasite PCR, a molecular diagnostic test, detects 20 parasites, including anthelmintic-resistant hookworm and zoonotic giardia, from a single, storable 0.15 gram sample. Antech’s investment in molecular technology, including 10 test sites around the world North America, supports affordable next-day results and makes advanced screening for molecular parasites practical for routine health screening.

Parasites proliferate, migrate and mutate. Zoonoses, opportunistic animal diseases that can infect humans, are increasing. Also in veterinary medicine, treatment-resistant hookworms are an increasing threat to canine health. The need to better understand, detect, and effectively deal with parasitic threats has never been greater. However, today’s challenges from parasitic infections have outstripped the capabilities of existing screening tests, with the 100-year-old Ova and Parasite (O&P) diagnostic protocol being the most common. The diagnostics available are neither sensitive nor comprehensive enough to detect the breadth of parasites that are of significant importance to the health of pets: they cannot detect zoonotic potential or treatment resistance. The lack of diagnostic advances over the past decade has made it difficult to understand when and what treatment is needed or if there is a risk to human health. Overtreatment can follow, only increasing the risk of treatment resistance.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us – with vivid clarity – how interconnected human and animal health are, the danger and speed of mutations, and the critical need for sensitive, rapid and affordable diagnostic tests,” he said Christian M.leutenegger, Dr.Med.Vet., B.Sc., Ph.D., FVH, Director of Molecular Diagnostics, R&D at Antech and inventor of the KeyScreen GI Parasite PCR test. “Emerging challenges such as multiple drug resistance in hookworms and the presence of zoonotic parasites require focused attention, but current diagnostics lack the sensitivity we need to appropriately and effectively find and treat parasites, which has an exquisite ability to insert a lens into the DNA of a.” having parasites. I like to say that “molecular testing can tell you what color eyes the parasite has.” Current and undetected threats require this level of precision to ensure animal and human welfare.”

The molecular methodology reads the genetic material of a parasite or virus, making it the most powerful diagnostic platform in human and veterinary medicine. KeyScreen improves veterinarians’ ability to identify, treat and protect pets and pet owners from disease by detecting 20 parasites from a single 0.15 gram sample that can be refrigerated for up to 10 days. KeyScreen leverages a significant investment in molecular technology, is affordable, and provides next-day results for most North American practices, making it convenient for routine screening and annual wellness assessments.

“Parasites are a major threat to the health of pets and their families, especially as we have seen the parasite threat spread into new areas over the years,” said I. Craig Prior, BVSc., CVJ Board Member. Past-President of the Parasite Council for Companion Animals. “I applaud innovations like these, which provide my fellow veterinarians with ever better tools for detecting infestations and continue their leadership in preventative medicine and the One Health initiative for the family.”

KeyScreen GI Parasite PCR offers several novel features that support practice efficiencies, rapid and cost-effective detection of more diseases, and a new, higher standard of care for parasite screening.

Find more diseases. Treat Appropriately – KeyScreen detects 20 veterinary important parasites and provides the only method for differentiating tapeworms, detecting Toxoplasma and identifying roundworm strains, whipworms, protozoa and coccidia. The test brings a new level of precision medicine, enabling veterinarians to give pets the right treatment the first time, helping them recover faster and eliminating repeat visits.

Recognize treatment-resistant hookworms – Hookworms are one of the most prevalent intestinal parasites in dogs, and the prevalence is increasing dramatically: They are also zoonotic. Although multiple treatments exist, intense overuse has resulted in high levels of anthelmintic resistance and multiple drug resistance (MDR). KeyScreen not only detects hookworm, but also automatically searches for the genetic resistance marker, providing important information for effective treatment. KeyScreen’s unique ability helps veterinarians restore a dog’s health faster while protecting vulnerable human populations from a zoonotic threat.

Determine the zoonotic potential of Giardia – While the risk of contracting a disease in pets remains low, there are key benefits to knowing if a pet is infected with a zoonotic accumulation. Of the seven known Giardia aggregations, two have the potential to be zoonotic. KeyScreen automatically searches for assemblages that may pose a risk to human health, providing veterinarians with specific information to make informed treatment decisions, as well as advising or reassuring pet owners about potential risks to older adults, children, and immunocompromised individuals.

Freedom from “faeces” and other cost and efficiency gains – KeyScreen offers valuable advantages for the busy practice. First, a very small sample of 0.15 grams is required, which can be refrigerated for up to 10 days. It finds most parasites the first time with a single test, automatically looking for zoonotic aggregations and resistance markers, eliminating the time and resource drain of repeated visits from the pet owner. Molecular testing can also eliminate the resources required to process and analyze O&P in the clinic, a task that any clinician would likely and happily avoid. Quick access to more information allows veterinarians to deliver targeted, appropriate treatment faster with significantly less effort, providing pet owners and practices with the time and cost savings that naturally result when staff can devote more time to patient care.

Maintaining One Health’s Priorities – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, awareness of the role of veterinarians as One Health’s stewards has been at an all-time high. Molecular diagnostics allow veterinarians to strengthen their commitment to One Health priorities, particularly pharmacological responsibility and responsible anthelmintics use, by providing accurate information on the type of infection present. The most sensitive intestinal parasite screening panel allows veterinarians to make treatment decisions with confidence while educating pet owners on the responsible use of therapy.

dr Leutenegger continued, “We don’t know what we don’t know, and there is much to learn about parasites that could affect human and animal health now and in the future. While we are aware of emerging problems such as treatment-resistant hookworm infections, there may be latent risks from parasites we once thought insignificant. Antech has made significant investments in and commitment to molecular diagnostics to make them accessible, affordable and convenient for routine use so veterinarians can not only find and treat more first-timers, but also uphold One Health priorities that are central to their mission – all while protecting animal health, their own health and the health of others.”

KeyScreen™ GI Parasite PCR will be available in Spring 2022. To learn more about KeyScreen and Antech’s commitment to molecular diagnostics, please visit

About Antech
At the heart of Antech is our love for pets. We combine innovative technology backed by scientific rigor with data-backed 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 commitment to setting new standards in the quality of pet care, which we support through innovative diagnostic, imaging, training and support services. Today, Antech is driving the future of pet health as part of Mars Veterinary Health, a family-owned company focused on veterinary care. Visit us at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

SOURCE Antech Diagnostics