We've added new PCR tests for swine and bovine diseases -- see our menu for a complete listing.

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Respiratory problems got you breathless? Try our poultry respiratory PCR panel.

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Zoologix performs avian and livestock PCR tests for...

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

African swine fever

Akabane virus

Alcelaphine herpesvirus

AMPKγ3R200Q mutation in pigs

Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Aspergillus fumigatus

Aspergillus species


Avian adenovirus

Avian herpes

Avian influenza

Avian polyomavirus

Avian reovirus

Baylisascaris procyonis

Blood typing for swine

Bluetongue virus

Bordetella avium

Borna virus

Bovine adenovirus

Bovine endogenous retrovirus

Bovine enterovirus

Bovine ephemeral fever virus

Bovine herpesvirus 1

Bovine herpesvirus 2

Bovine herpesvirus 4

Bovine leukemia virus

Bovine papillomavirus

Bovine papular stomatitis virus

Bovine parvovirus

Bovine polyomavirus

Bovine respiratory syncytial virus

Bovine rhinoviruses

Bovine viral diarrhea

Brachyspira pilosicoli


Cache Valley virus




Caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE) virus

Chlamydophila psittaci

Classical swine fever






Coxiella burnetii



E. coli O157:h7



Enteric E. coli panel

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

Foot and mouth disease


Fusobacterium necrophorum

Hepatitis E

Herpes, avian


Infectious bronchitis

Infectious bursal disease

Infectious coryza

Infectious laryngotracheitis


Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV)

Japanese encephalitis

Jena virus

Johne's disease


Lumpy skin disease virus


Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)

Malignant hyperthermia in pigs


Mycobacterium avium and other Mycobacteria

Mycoplasma species

Mycoplasma suis

Newcastle disease virus

Nipah virus

Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale

Ovine herpesvirus 2

Pacheco's disease (psittacid herpesviruses)

Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV)

Pigeon circovirus

Plasmodium species

Porcine adenovirus

Porcine circovirus 1

Porcine circovirus 2

Porcine cytomegalovirus

Porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV)

Porcine enterovirus

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus

Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis

Porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus

Porcine parvovirus

Porcine reproductive & respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus

Porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV)

Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV)

Poultry respiratory panel



Psittacine beak and feather disease

Psittacine herpes

Q fever



Rift Valley fever virus

Rinderpest virus

RyR1 R615C mutation in pigs


Staphylococcus xylosus

St. Louis encephalitis


Swine malignant hyperthermia


Swine vesicular disease

Teschovirus (Teschen-Talfan disease)

Tickborne encephalitis virus



Valley fever

Vesicular exanthema of swine

Vesicular stomatitis

Wesselsbron virus

West Nile virus

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

...and more -- see the avian & livestock test menu for a complete listing of avian and livestock assays.

West Nile virus PCR test

avian & livestock assay data sheet

West Nile virus (WNV)

Test code:
S0048 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of West Nile virus by reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction


West Nile virus (WNV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae and is an arthropod-borne virus. It possesses a single-stranded plus-sense RNA genome of approximately 11,000 nucleotides. It circulates in natural transmission cycles involving primarily Culex species mosquitoes and birds; humans and other mammals are thought to be incidental hosts.

Historically, WNV was found primarily in Africa, Asia, southern Europe, and Australia and was responsible for several significant epidemics, notably, in Israel (1950s), France (1962), South Africa (1974), and Romania (1996) (Hayes, 1989; Tsai et al., 1998;Savage et al., 1999). In 1999 and 2000, WNV was responsible for epidemics and epizootics in the northeastern United States, in which there were human fatalities and extensive avian mortality (Anderson et al., 1999; Lanciotta et al., 1999). On the basis of retrospective serosurveys conducted in New York City in 1999 and 2000, symptomatic illness develops in approximately 20% of persons infected with WNV and approximately 1 in 150 human infections results in meningoencephalitis, the most commonly reported form of WNV-associated illness.

In 2002, an outbreak of West Nile virus infection occurred in the state of Louisiana in which 319 human cases of WNV-associated illness were reported. Most of these cases happened in the southeastern portion of the state, including St. Tammany Parish. The Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) is located in St. Tammany Parish and houses large outdoor breeding colonies of baboons and macaques. A serological survey of primates in these breeding colonies indicated that approximately 36% of the nonhuman primates were infected with WNV during the 2002 transmission season (Ratterree et al., 2003). Implications of this study are that nonhuman primates can be as susceptible to West Nile virus infection as humans, and captive primate populations can be a potential source of viral carriers.

Surveillance for West Nile virus relies on the testing of field-collected mosquitoes and on the testing of dead birds for the presence of virus by isolation in cell culture. However, virus isolation followed by identification through immunofluorescence assays can take over a week to complete. In addition, virus isolation in cell culture from CSF or serum has generally been unsuccessful, likely due to the low level and short-lived viremia associated with infections with these viruses (Monath and Heinz, 1996; Southam and Moore, 1954).

Human WNV infections can be inferred by immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture and IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs); however, confirmation of the type of infecting virus is possible only by detection of a fourfold or greater rise in virus-specific neutralizing antibody titers in either cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or serum by performing the plaque reduction neutralization assay (PRNT) with several flaviviruses (Johnson et al., 2000; Martin et al., 2000). Thus serological detection of WNV infection is neither specific nor sensitive. PCR detection of West Nile virus is now considered to be a rapid, specific and sensitive detection method to identify this virus.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Help ensure that bird populations are free of West Nile Virus
  • Early prevention of spread of the virus among bird populations
  • Minimize human exposure to the virus
  • Monitor disease outbreaks

Anderson, J. F., Andreadis, T.G., Vossbrinck, C.R., Tirrell, S.,Wakem, E.M., French, R.A., Garmendia, A.E. and Van Kruiningen, H.J. (1999) Isolation of West Nile virus from mosquitoes, crows, and a Cooper's hawk in Connecticut. Science 286:2331-2333.
Hayes, C. G. (1989). West Nile fever, p. 59-88. In T. P. Monath (ed.), The arboviruses: epidemiology and ecology, vol. V. CRC Press, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla.
Johnson, A. J., Martin, D.A., Karabatsos, N. and Roehrig, J.T.(2000) Detection of antiarboviral immunoglobulin G by using a monoclonal antibody-based capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. J. Clin. Microbiol. 38:1827-1831.
Lanciotti, R. S., Roehrig, J.T., Deubel, V., Smith, J., Parker, M., Steele, K., Volpe, K.E., Crabtree, M.B., Scherret, J.H., Hall, R.A., MacKenzie, J.S., Cropp, C.B., Panigrahy, B., Ostlund, E., Schmitt, B., Malkinson, M., Banet, C., Weissman, J., Komar, N., Savage, H.M., Stone, W., McNamara, T. and Gubler, D.J.(1999) Origin of the West Nile virus responsible for an outbreak of encephalitis in the northeastern U.S. Science 286:2333-2337.
Martin, D. A., Muth, D.A., Brown, T., Johnson, A.J., Karabatsos, N. and Roehrig, J.T. (2000) Standardization of immunoglobulin M capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for routine diagnosis of arboviral infections. J. Clin. Microbiol. 38:1823-1826.
Monath, T. P., and Heinz, F.X. (1996) Flaviviruses, p. 978-984. In B. N. Fields (ed.), Fields virology, 3rd ed., vol. 1. Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia, Pa.
Ratterree, M.S., da Rosa, A.P., Bohm, R.P. Jr, Cogswell, F.B., Phillippi, K.M., Caillouet, K., Schwanberger, S., Shope, R.E. and Tesh, R.B.(2003) West Nile virus infection in nonhuman primate breeding colony, concurrent with human epidemic, southern Louisiana. Emerg Infect Dis. 9:1388-1394.
Southam, C. M., and Moore, A.E. (1954) Induced virus infections in man by the Egypt isolates of West Nile virus. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 3:19-50.
Savage, H. M., Ceianu, C., Nicolescu, G., Karabatsos, N.,Lanciotti, R., Vladimirescu, A., Laiv, L., Ungureanu, A., Romanca, C. and Tsai, T.F. (1999). Entomologic and avian investigations of an epidemic of West Nile fever in Romania, 1996, with serological and molecular characterization of a virus from mosquitoes. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 61:600-611.
Tsai, T. F., Popovici, F., Cernescu, C., Campbell, G.L. and Nedelcu, N.I. (1998) West Nile encephalitis epidemic in southeastern Romania. Lancet 352:767-771.

Specimen requirements:

Preferred samples: 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen CNS tissue.

Less preferred samples: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml serum or plasma

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 reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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