Shigetoshi Eda

UT AgResearch Article by Margot Emery

Veterinary diagnostic company BioVet has just announced a new diagnostic test kit for the costly infectious animal disease, Johne’s disease, is on the market for sale. The test is based on a discovery and invention by associate professor Shigetoshi Eda and professor emeritus C.A. Speer of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

Johne’s disease occurs in domestic and wild animals worldwide. In the United States, the disease causes an estimated annual loss of $220 million to the agricultural economy.

The heavy economic burden on the agricultural industry urged the scientific community to develop effective control measures for Johne’s disease. Diagnosis and culling of test-positive animals are recommended for control of the disease; however, current tests suffer low sensitivity, long turnaround time, and/or high cost. About ten years ago, Eda and Speer discovered a way to develop a highly sensitive diagnostic test for Johne’s disease and then worked with the UT Research Foundation to commercialize the method. The USDA and Institute supported their work. 

Eda holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, where he is associate director for the Center for Wildlife Health. He is an adjunct in the Department of Microbiology and a senior member of the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state. 

Shigetoshi Eda, UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries