With the continued growth of the Cobb business in Brazil, the company's quality control laboratory was greatly expanded in December.
A new $600,000 investment will double the capacity of tests per month to 30,000 using serology, bacteriology and molecular assays. The laboratory is considered a benchmark facility for the Brazilian poultry industry, both for assay quality and for the range of its testing.
Located in Guapiaçu area in the São Paulo region, the laboratory was opened in 2008 and is responsible for assessing the biosecurity level of poultry farms, hatcheries and feed mill to help maintain the high health status throughout the Cobb operation in Brazil.
"In addition to expanding our testing capacity, the investment improves the efficiency of each laboratory section and significantly speeds some of our procedures," said Márcio Gereti, laboratory coordinator at Cobb-Vantress Brazil. "We're also optimizing our database classification, increasing the information backup capacity to five years."
In addition to the serological assays, flock samples are analyzed with microbiological and molecular testing using two different methods to ensure total reliability of the results.
"This combination of techniques for salmonella testing generates a final result within three days - two days sooner than with traditional laboratory techniques. Two days is a highly significant time in any case where intervention is needed," explained Dr. Leonardo Sestak, Cobb veterinarian responsible for avian health and laboratory management.
"What's more, in the third day of testing it is now possible through molecular typing to identify the serogroup and sometimes even the serotype. It's possible to rule out two important serotypes for poultry, Salmonella enteriditis and Salmonella typhimurium, by running real-time PCR technology using specific primers."
In addition to the entire Salmonella testing, the laboratory runs other bacteriological and molecular assays, antimicrobial susceptibility tests and mycological exams that help veterinarians to define the best procedure in the field.
The laboratory has the latest equipment including a new ELISA plate washer machine that can rinse a whole batch of 96-well plates at a time and a mediaclave that can rapidly and safely prepare large volumes of media broth at a specific temperature.
"As a breeding company at the top of the food chain, we need to adopt the best and latest procedures in testing and analysis to ensure our Cobb products always meet the highest health standards," added Sestak.
There is regular coordination with the other Cobb Laboratories in the U.S. and England, exchanging technical information about global poultry health issues as well as ongoing improvements to laboratory routine.