Rabies PCR test for dogs and cats
dog and cat assay data sheet
Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of rabies virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction
S0116 is included
on P0036 - canine neurological
Rabies virus, a
nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA virus, is a member of the
Rhabdoviridae family. This family includes at least three genera of
animal viruses, Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus, and Vesiculovirus. The
genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus, Lagos bat virus, Mokola virus,
Duvenhage virus, European bat virus 1 & 2 and Australian bat virus.
Rabies virus can
cause fatal acute encephalitis in all mammalian hosts, including
humans, dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, livestock and many other species.
However, only a few species are important as reservoirs for the
disease. In the United States, several distinct rabies virus variants
have been identified in raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes and several
species of insectivorous bats.
rabies virus usually begins when an uninfected animal contacts the
saliva of an infected host animal. Various routes of transmission have
been documented, including contamination of mucous membranes (ie eyes,
nose, and mouth) and even aerosol transmission. However, the most
common mode of rabies virus transmission is a bite from an infected
of rabies infection in animals include lethargy, fever, vomiting, and
anorexia. Signs progress within days to cerebral dysfunction, ataxia,
weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty
swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression,
has been used to diagnose rabies virus exposure in animals. Direct
fluorescent antibody testing is most frequently used to diagnose
rabies. This test requires brain tissue from the animal suspected of
being rabid. The test can only be performed post-mortem and is not
suitable for testing live animals that may have contacted the virus.
However, since animals may have had prior exposure to the virus,
serology testing may not be specific in confirming the current
presence of the virus. An extensive and time-consuming serology
titering study may be required to prove the animal’s recent exposure.
detection by PCR is a rapid, sensitive and specific method to identify
the presence of the rabies virus in a sample. The PCR test can be
performed on saliva, spinal fluid or a bite lesion swab or biopsy.
See the US Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) rabies website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/
for additional information on the diagnosis of rabies.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify rabies carriers
Help ensure that animal groups and populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/ (Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s rabies information website)
Buccal swab, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen brain stem
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
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR