The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved an enhanced Witness HW heartworm antigen test kit designed for dogs and cats, the manufacturer, Zoetis, reported today.
Enhancements involving test antibodies, the buffer and sample pad, and the signal strength at the control line are designed to generate better confidence in the results, the Madison, N.J. company added.
"The enhanced version…provides veterinarians with accurate, easy-to-interpret results in approximately 10 minutes so they can begin heartworm preventative treatment for their patients right away,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, the group director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations for Zoetis.
The new test is available to veterinarians nationwide starting today.
Witness HW, introduced in 1997, is designed to detect adult Dirofilaria immitis antigens in dog or cat blood. One drop of anticoagulated whole blood, serum or plasma is needed for testing.
Cats testing negative for heartworm antigen may benefit from other diagnostic tests, including heartworm antibody assays, Zoetis noted.
Zoetis is the former animal health business of Pfizer Inc.