Diagnosing Sheep Scab
Skin scraping has been widely used for diagnosis and offers a quick, cost-effective solution. Your veterinary surgeon can carry out a skin scrape, and deliver results rapidly, facilitating ongoing management.
Even where infestation is present, mites may not be detected on skin scrapes, particularly if low mite numbers are present. Moredun have developed a sheep scab (blood) ELISA test which is available commercially via Biobest Laboratories and Wales Veterinary Science Centre.
Infested animals produce antibodies and this test can detect those antibodies. A positive result informs us that the animal has been exposed but interpretation is important as animals which have been successfully treated recently may still be positive. A negative result tells us that exposure is unlikely. Your vet will be able to advise on the results obtained.
The greatest benefit comes from using the test on a flock level basis (screening 12 animals per management group).