COVID-19 PCR test
dog and cat assay data sheet
(aka "novel coronavirus", 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV-2)
Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of COVID19
by one-step reverse transcription real time PCR.
CDC guidance on SARS-CoV-2 testing in animals:
The decision to test an animal (including companion
animals, livestock, and wild or zoo animals) should be based upon
a One Health approach. Consultation between veterinarians and appropriate local, state,
and/or federal public health and animal health officials is
USDA-NVSL can perform confirmatory testing on any samples
initially tested positive at Zoologix, and reports any confirmed
positive cases to the appropriate agencies to track the disease.
more common causes of illness in animals should be considered before considering
Zoologix performs COVID-19 PCR testing of
environmental samples, and of animal samples submitted by a
veteriarian following the guidelines above. We believe that the current
shortage of human COVID-19 testing capacity can be mitigated by
diverting non-human samples requiring COVID-19 testing away from
human diagnostic labs whose full COVID-19 testing capacity is
needed for processing human clinical samples.
For this testing we are using the same PCR primer set, which
targets the same viral genetic sequence,
as the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-specified test being
used for human COVID-19 PCR testing. However please note that as
a veterinary lab, we DO NOT PERFORM TESTING ON HUMAN CLINICAL
SAMPLES. Human samples will not be accepted. Zoologix performs
this testing on animal samples submitted by veterinarians, and
on environmental samples submitted by professional environmental
The CDC is encouraging and enabling a broad-based,
decentralized approach to COVID-19 testing. By performing
this testing on non-human-origin samples as allowed and
Zoologix hopes to be able to support and contribute to this
approach and do our part in helping to control the current
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2) outbreak, which
initially began in China, has spread rapidly around the globe.
This novel coronavirus, first known as 2019-nCoV, was officially named by
the World Health Organization as COVID-19.
Various coronaviruses are found in animals and humans. Infection by these
viruses usually results in respiratory and enteric symptoms.
Historically, most coronaviral infections caused relatively mild
human clinical symptoms, until the severe acute respiratory
syndrome (SARS-CoV) outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in China, which
captured the attention of the medical community regarding the
severity of animal to human transmission of coronaviruses. A
decade later, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
(MERS-CoV), another pathogenic coronavirus with a clinical
presentation reminiscent of SARS, was isolated in human patients
presenting with pneumonia. The MERS-CoV virus was again
confirmed to be transmitted from animals (in that case camels)
Similar to the origin of the HIV virus, scientists believe that when
coronaviruses, which often have minimal effects on host animals,
jump to humans, the human immune system may not be able to adapt
and hence, humans may develop severe reactions to these viral
infections. While the origin of the COVID-19 virus is not
certain, some scientists are inclined to believe that this virus
derived from one of the exotic animals being sold for human
consumption in a Chinese “wet market.”
Though much remains to learn about the transmission characteristics of
this virus, it appears that it can survive on environmental
surfaces for some time.
Therefore to help protect people from exposure, it may be useful
to test swabs of these surfaces for the virus.
was reported on 06 April 2020 that a tiger exhibiting symptoms consistent
with COVID-19 in the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the virus
(New York Times).
new pre-print paper reports that SARS-CoV-2 replicates poorly in
dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks, but efficiently in ferrets and
cats. The virus transmits in cats via respiratory droplets (Shi
Molecular detection by PCR is currently the best approach to quickly
identify environmental presence of the
virus. Testing of surface
swipes or swabs for the virus may help control environmental
transmission of the virus between people.
The primer sequence used in this test is identical to primer sequence
published by CDC.
THIS TEST IS NOT TO BE USED FOR HUMAN CLINICAL TESTING. IT CAN BE
USED FOR COMPANION ANIMAL TESTING ONLY IF SAMPLES ARE
SUBMITTED BY A VETERINARIAN PER THE CDC GUIDELINES ABOVE.
Detect the presence of COVID-19 virus on environmental surfaces or
Minimize human and animal exposure to the virus
Lan, L., Xu, D., Ye, G., et al. (2020) Positive RT-PCR test results in
patients recovered from COVID-19. JAMA. Published online
February 27, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.2783.
Shi, Jianzhong et al. (2020) Susceptibility of
ferrets, cats, dogs, and different domestic animals to
SARS-coronavirus-2. Preprint published March 30, 2020, State Key
Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research
Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001,
New York Times:
Swab, or surface gauze pad swipe. Ship fresh samples immediately, overnight, on cold paks.
frozen samples so as to remain frozen until
their arrival at 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.
2 business days
reverse transcription real time PCR
Canine enteric coronavirus PCR test