Home > News > PRESS RELEASE: Small redworm blood test (including encysted larvae) to be launched as a diagnostic service in September 2019

PRESS RELEASE: Small redworm blood test (including encysted larvae) to be launched as a diagnostic service in September 2019

Encysted small redworm larvae in the gut wall of an infected horse. The worm is coloured red in the image and curls around on itself.

The blood test has been developed by Prof Jacqui Matthews’ group at the Moredun Research Institute (MRI), the main funder being The Horse Trust.

In recent years, Austin Davis Biologics Ltd. (ADB) has worked with the Matthews group to develop the blood test for commercialisation, and the new service provision represents the first phase.

Dr Corrine Austin of ADB said “We are thrilled to be making this test available to horse owners after extensive research has been conducted to achieve high accuracy. ADB are now developing laboratory ELISA [enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay] kits to enable independent veterinary laboratories to conduct blood testing. These kits are expected to reach market during 2020. Research into the saliva-based test is ongoing and is expected to be commercialised several years from now.”

Professor Matthews commented, “It is great to see the commercialisation of this much-needed test to support sustainable worm control in horses. The test fills an important gap in our diagnostic toolbox and will enable horse owners to work with their veterinarians in targeting anthelmintic treatments against cyathostomin infections and hence help protect these important medicines for the future."

Rhona Macdonald, Business Development Manager at MRI said: “We are delighted that the research has led to the development of a new blood test to help diagnose small red worms in horses and that the test is now available through Austin Davis Biologics.”

Veterinary practices can contact ADB at info@austindavis.co.uk to register interest in the diagnostic test service. Once an account is set up, unique barcoded submission sheets will be supplied enabling efficient result reporting.



1. Austin Davis Biologics Ltd is a science and technology company focused on biosciences. The company successfully developed and commercialised the EquiSal Tapeworm test, a saliva test for tapeworm diagnosis in horses.
2. Development of the diagnostic blood test has involved funding from the Horse Trust and previous funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
3. Further information about the control of equine cyathostomin infection can be viewed on the following page of the Moredun Research Institute website: Parastic Roundworms (Equine)