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And... just for rabbits: our new Rabbit Fecal PCR Panel tests for 3 common causes of GI problems in rabbits.

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Zoologix also performs rodent PCR tests for...

Aspiculuris tetraptera

Bordetella

Campylobacter

Clostridium piliforme

Coccidia

E. coli (enteroinvasive)

Ectromelia

EDIM

Encephalomyocarditis

Francisella tularensis

Fur mites

Hantavirus

Helicobacter

Human adenoviruses

Klebsiella pneumoniae

K virus

Lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus

Leptospira

Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)

Mites

Mouse adenoviruses

Mouse cytomegaloviruses

Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)

Mouse minute virus (MMV)

Mouse norovirus (MNV)

Mouse parvovirus (MPV)

Mouse polyoma virus (POLY)

Mousepox virus (aka ectromelia virus, EV or ECTRO)

Mouse rotavirus

Mycoplasma pulmonis

Mycoplasma screen

Pasteurella

Pinworms

Pneumocystis carinii

Pneumonia virus of mice (PVM)

Rabbit coronavirus

Rabbit fibroma virus

Rat bite fever

Rat coronavirus

Reovirus screen

Reovirus type 3 (REO3)

Rotavirus

Salmonella

Sendai virus (SEND)

Seoul virus

Shigella

Sialodacryoadenitis virus (SDAV)

Streptobacillus moniliformis

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Syphacia muris

Syphacia obvelata

Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV)

Tickborne encephalitis virus

Treponema cuniculi/ paraluiscuniculi

Tularemia

Tyzzer's disease

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis


Treponema cuniculi / paraluiscuniculi PCR test for rabbits
rodent and rabbit assay data sheet

Treponema paraluiscuniculi / Treponema cuniculi / T. pallidum

Test code: B0010 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection but not differentiation of Treponema paraluiscuniculi (also known as Treponema cuniculi) and Treponema pallidum by real time PCR.

Treponema is a genus of commonly found, gram-negative, spirochete bacteria.  Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum and subspecies pertenue, along with T. paraluiscuniculi (also known as T. cuniculi), share a nearly identical genome. It is usually not practical nor necessary to differentiate them by molecular or serological means, so their exact identification, if necessary, is usually inferred based on host species and infection site.

The oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and vagina are the main colonization sites for bacteria of this genus. Treponema pallidum is one of the Treponema species that colonizes the vaginal area in humans and is the causative organism of syphilis. T. pallidum is a motile spirochete that is generally acquired by close sexual contact; the bacteria enter host tissue by breaches in squamous or columnar epithelium. The major symptom is a primary chancre (an area of ulceration and inflammation) in genital areas. If untreated the disease can progress to secondary and tertiary syphilis, characterized by maculopapular rashes and central nervous system involvement.

Treponema pallidum suspecies pertenue is the etiologic agent of yaws in both humans and nonhuman primates. Infection of NHPs by this subspecies appears to be widespread at least in subsaharan Africa (Chuma et al., 2018). Nonhuman primates may represent a reservoir of this pathogen, and thus the presence of Treponema infections in NHPs may be important for yaws research and One Health initiatives (Knauf et al., 2013).

Unlike T. pallidum, T. paraluiscuniculi causes venereal spirochetosis only in rabbits and is known as rabbit syphilis, vent disease, or cuniculosis. Although its genome structure is closely related to other pathogenic Treponema species including T. pallidum, T. paraluiscuniculi does not infect humans. Interestingly, T. paraluiscuniculi can also infect hares but it does not cause disease in hare species. Rabbits infected with T. paraluiscuniculi do not develop symptoms quickly; in fact a significant percentage of infected rabbits may not develop any apparent symptoms but remain as carriers. Young rabbits are especially resistant to infection. After 3-6 weeks of incubation, crusty lesions may sometimes be observed around the anus, genitals or face. These lesions can worsen to exude serum or blood.

Microscopy and serology are not useful methods to detect these bacteria due to the similarity in physical and genomic characteristics of these pathogenic bacteria with other non-pathogenic species; serological cross-reactivity with other closely related but non-pathogenic species of Treponema often gives rise to false positive serology results. Molecular detection by PCR is the method of choice to quickly and specifically identify T. pallidum and T. paraluiscuniculi (Gayet-Ageron et al., 2015).

Utilities:

  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of Treponema paraluiscuniculi in rabbits
  • Help ensure that rabbit colonies are free of T. paraluiscuniculi
  • Early prevention of spread of T. paraluiscuniculi among a facility
  • Minimize human exposure to Treponema species
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from rabbits

References:
Knauf, S., Liu, H., and Harper, K. (2013) Treponemal Infection in Nonhuman Primates as Possible Reservoir for Human Yaws. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 19(12): 2058–2060.

Gayet-Ageron, A., Sednaoui, P., Lautenschlager, S., Ferry, T., Toutous-Trellu, L., Cavassini, M., Perneger, T. (2015). Use of Treponema pallidum PCR in testing of ulcers for diagnosis of primary syphilis. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 21(1), 127-129.

Chuma IS, Batamuzi EK, Collins DA, Fyumagwa RD, Hallmaier-Wacker LK, Kazwala RR, Keyyu JD, Lejora IA, Lipende IF, Lüert S, Paciência FMD, Piel A, Stewart FA, Zinner D, Roos C, Knauf S. (2018) Widespread Treponema pallidum Infection in Nonhuman Primates, Tanzania.  Emerging Infectious Diseases, 24(6):1002-1009.

Specimen requirements:  Lesion swab, or vaginal swab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml serum or CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue.

Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.

For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain frozen in transit. See shipping instructions for more information.

Turnaround time: 2 business days

Methodology: Qualitative real time polymerase chain reaction

Normal range: Nondetected

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