Shrimp pathogen detection expert Genics is targeting Brazil after being shut out of South America's largest market for years because of strict bio-security rules.

Brazil, where the company expects to encounter typical pathogens of South America, was always top of the list of target markets.

"Over the last 12-18 months we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure we meet Brazil’s stringent biosecurity regulations," Melony Sellars, global shrimp expert and co-founder of Genics, told IntraFish.

"This included the development of a suitable process to allow the seamless provision of shrimp tissue samples for testing."

For effective testing, the samples must be preserved in 70 percent ethanol for transportation to Genics laboratories.

It's two years since the Australian company hailed the launch of its Shrimp MultiPath testing technology as a breakthrough in shrimp disease detection, adding that it will change the way shrimp farmers manage disease risk.

Other testing systems used by the shrimp industry are only able to test for one pathogen at a time, whereas shrimp may carry up to four at any one time.

To help producers combat the threat of DIV1, Genics developed Shrimp MultiPath Xtra, adding DIV1 to the other 13 shrimp pathogens that can be tested in a single assay -- a procedure for measuring the biochemical or immunological activity of a sample.

The impacts of COVID once samples begin the shipping process are minimal, with only the occasional increase in shipping time by up to 24 hours, Sellars said, noting that the real impact of COVID is on the ground in the country of origin where people are challenged with restricted movement, making it harder to physically take and ship samples.

"Despite the challenges we are seeing strong interest and rapid uptake by early adopters in the Brazilian market," she said.

The pandemic currently prevents the Genics team from traveling to Brazil to talk with Brazilian shrimp farmers face-to-face to discuss health management strategies with the aim of boosting shrimp production.