The province of Batangas has reasons to be happy for receiving funding assistance in their fight to eradicate the African Swine Flu Virus (AFSF) by using the locally developed rapid diagnostic kits to detect the virus affecting the swine industry. The assistance came from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in the form of fund given to the Batangas Provincial government to help their livestock raisers to get access to the diagnostic kits.
The collaborative project was entered into by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas and DOST 4-A Regional Director Dr. Emelita Bagsit.
The diagnostic kit, developed by the Central Luzon State University CLSU), is a nano-gold biosensor test kit, specifically “a test-kit with nucleic acid-based assay that combines LAMP and nanotechnology where gold nanoparticles are used to aggregate with amplified DNA genetic materials after amplification to visualize the reaction after 30 minutes.” The test can be done on samples collected from live animal such as blood, feces, and saliva or oral liquids and from inanimate objects such as raw meat and other tissues, surface swab and water.
Likewise, DOST provided assistance to the town of Santo Tomas-based private sector-led research and development center, purposely to develop a vaccine against the ASFV.
Considering that the DOST funding is for a science-based ASFV diagnostic/test kit and has impact on the economic recovery efforts of the country, I strongly suggest that the DOST assistance be extended to the other regions affected by the virus.
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