NEW - Neuro symptoms getting on your nerves? Try our canine neurological panel - 6 neurological pathogens from 1 CSF sample; or our feline neurological panel - 5 neurological pathogens from 1 CSF sample.

Oh baby! Try our canine breeding PCR panel - 3 canine sexually transmitted diseases tested from swabs or semen samples.

Respiratory symptoms got you breathless? Try our canine respiratory PCR panel - we test for 6 canine respiratory pathogens from throat, nasal and eye swabs.

...or maybe you need our feline respiratory PCR panel -- 6 feline respiratory pathogens from throat, nasal and eye swabs.

Diarrhea got you on the run? Try our canine diarrhea PCR panel -- 8 major diarrheagenic agents from 1 fecal specimen...
...OR our 9-pathogen feline diarrhea PCR panel.

Not feeling sanguine about bloodborne pathogens in cats? Try our feline bloodborne PCR panel -- 4 major bloodborne pathogens from 1 blood sample.

Ticks bugging you? Try our tickborne disease PCR panel -- 7 major tickborne pathogens from 1 blood sample.

Just plain sick and tired? Try our canine anemia PCR panel or our feline anemia PCR panel -- detect and differentiate multiple anemia pathogens from 1 blood sample.

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Zoologix performs canine and feline PCR tests for...

Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Anaplasma platys

Aspergillus species

Aspergillus fumigatus

Babesia

Bartonella

Baylisascaris procyonis

Bordetella bronchiseptica

Borrelia burgdorferi

Brucella

Campylobacter

Canine adenovirus type 1

Canine adenovirus type 2

Canine enteric coronavirus (CCV1)

Canine distemper

Canine herpesvirus

Canine papillomavirus

Canine parainfluenza virus

Canine parvovirus

Canine respiratory coronavirus (CCV2)

Chagas disease

Chikungunya virus

Chlamydophila psittaci

Clostridium species

Coccidia

Cryptococcus

Cryptosporidium

Cytauxzoon felis

E. coli

Ehrlichia

Fading kitten syndrome

Feline calicivirus

Feline distemper

Feline enteric coronavirus

Feline foamy virus

Feline herpesvirus type 1

Feline immunodeficiency virus

Feline infectious anemia

Feline infectious peritonitis

Feline leukemia

Feline panleukopenia

Feline papillomavirus

Feline pneunomitis

Feline rhinotracheitis virus

Feline sarcoma virus

Feline syncytial virus

Francisella tularensis

Giardia

Group G strep

Haemobartonella canis

Haemobartonella felis

Helicobacter

Influenza

Lawsonia intracellularis

Leishmania

Leptospira

Lyme disease

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staph aureus)

Mycoplasma canis

Mycoplasma felis

Mycoplasma haemocanis

Mycoplasma haemofelis

Neospora caninum

Pasteurella multocida

Pneumocystis carinii

Rabies

Reovirus screen

Rickettsia screen

Salmonella

Sarcocystis neurona

Streptococcus, Group G

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus zooepidemicus

Toxoplasma gondii

Trichomonas/
Tritrichomonas

Trypanosoma cruzi

Tularemia

West Nile virus

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis


Toxoplasma gondii PCR test for cats

dog and cat assay data sheet

Toxoplasma gondii

Test code: X0002 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Toxoplasma gondii by real time PCR

X0002 is included on P0028 - feline diarrhea panel, on P0036 - canine neurological panel, and on P0037 - feline neurological panel

Toxoplasmosis is the most common parasitic infection worldwide affecting humans and a number of domestic animals. The organism that causes toxoplasmosis is Toxoplasma gondii - a single-celled organism in order Coccidia.

The cat is the only animal in which sexual reproduction of the organism occurs. Thus, cats are the only domestic animal that has the potential to shed the organism’s eggs. Although there is generally a high prevalence of infection in cats, most surveys show a less than 1% incidence of oocyst shedding. This is to be expected as infected cats generally do not re-shed oocysts following their first exposure to Toxoplasma gondii.

Dogs may transmit Toxoplasmosis to humans by rolling in foul-smelling substances and by ingesting fecal material. The fact that 50% of stray dogs and cats carry T. gondii antibodies suggests that they have been infected with the parasite. Reports show that dogs in shelters, dogs living in close contact with wild birds and rodents in rural areas, and dogs fed raw meat are at much higher risk for being infected by T. gondii.

Despite the high prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection, significant clinical disease in cats (and other species) appears to be very rare. This implies that many infected animals can be carriers of the parasite with unnoticed symptoms. When disease does occur, it may develop either following primary infection due to an inadequate immune response to stop the invasive tachyzoites, or as a result of reactivated infection due to compromised immunity. Clinical disease appears to be most common in young cats (less than 2 years of age), and this may be due, in part, to a poorly developed immune response in these cats. Reactivation of infection in older cats may be linked to co-infection with feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus in some cats. The most commonly reported clinical signs associated with feline toxoplasmosis are anorexia, weight loss, lethargy, dyspnea (due to pneumonia), ocular signs (iritis, chorioretinitis) and pyrexia. Other less common features include gastrointestinal signs (vomiting and diarrhea), neurological signs, lymphadenopathy, jaundice, myositis and abortion.

Toxoplasmosis presents a serious health risk for people living in close contact with these animals. Infection is especially dangerous for people with suppressed immune system, such as AIDS and cancer patients, and for pregnant women. Swollen glands and fever are the most common findings in those who have any symptoms. Infected infants may show various symptoms including jaundice, encephalitis, mental defects, and eye disease.

The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is problematic and a definitive diagnosis rests on demonstration of the active form of the organism in tissues taken at post mortem examination or in biopsy samples. Laboratory tests may also be used as diagnostic aids. The “gold standard” for the detection of T. gondii in clinical specimens is mouse inoculation and then the detection of T. gondii-specific antibodies. This method is sensitive and specific but very time-consuming, taking up to six weeks to obtain a diagnosis. Cell culture detection of this parasite is also slow and lack sensitivity. An ELISA test may be used, but is difficult in animals with severe immune dysfunction. Furthermore, serological tests cannot detect cats that are shedding the parasite in their feces. Molecular detection by PCR method overcomes these difficulties and provides a highly sensitive and specific determination of an animal’s infection status.

Utilities:

  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Help ensure that animal groups are free of T. gondii
  • Early prevention of spread of this parasite among a group of animals
  • Minimize human exposure to this parasite

References:
Dubey, J.P. (1993) Toxoplasma, Neoplasma, Sarcocystis, and other tissue cyst-forming coccidian of human and animals. pp1-56. In: Parasitic protozoa (Kreier, P.J. ed), vol. 6, 2nd ed., Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, California.
Inoue, M. (1997) Acute toxoplasmosis in squirrel monkeys. J. Vet. Med. Sci. 59:593-595.
Ruch, T.C. (1959). pp.297-299, 313-318, 423-424. In: Diseases of laboratory primates. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia.
Cunningham, A.A., Buxton, D. and Thomson, K.M. (1992) An epidemic of toxoplasmosis in a captive colony of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). J. Comp. Pathol. 107:207-219.
Furuta, T., Une, Y., Omura, M., Matsutani, N., Nomura, Y., Kikuchi, T., Hattori, S. and Yoshikawa, Y. (2001) Horizontal transmission of Toxoplasma gondii in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Exp. Anim. 50:299-306.
Grover, M.C., Thulliez, P., Remington, J.S. and Boothroyd, J.C. (1990) Rapid prenatal diagnosis of congenital Toxoplasma infection by using polymerase chain reaction and amniotic fluid. J. Clin. Microbiol. 28:2297-2301.
Dupouy-Camet, J., de Souza, S.L., Maslo, C., Paugam, A., Saimot, A.G., Benarous, R., Tourte-Schaefer, C. and Derouin, F. (1993) Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in venous blood from AIDS patients by polymerase chain reaction. J. Clin. Microbiol. 31:1866-1869.
Ho-Yen, D.O., Joss, A.W.L., Balflour, A.H., Smyth, E.T.M., Baird, D. and Chatterton, J.M.W. (1992) Use of the polymerase chain reaction to detect Toxoplasma gondii in human blood samples. J. Clin. Pathol. 45:910-913.
Johnson, J.D., Butcher, P.D., Savva, D. and Holliman, R.E. (1993) Application of the polymerase chain reaction to the diagnosis of human toxoplasmosis. J. Infect. 26:147-158.
Cristina, N.H., Pelloux, C., Goulhot, J.P., Brion, P., Leclercq, P. and Ambrosis-Thomas, P. (1993) Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in AIDS patients by the polymerase chain reaction. Infection 21:150-153.
Farmley, S.F., Goebel, F.D. and Remington, J.S. (1992) Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in cerebrospinal fluid from AIDS patients by polymerase chain reaction. J. Clin. Microbiol. 30:3000-3002.
Hussein, A.H., Nagaty, I.M. and Fouad, M.A. (2002) Evaluation of IgM-ELISA versus PCR in diagnosis of recent Toxoplasma gondii infection. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 32:639-46.

Specimen requirement: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml feces, or 0.2 ml amniotic fluid or CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed tissue.

For specimen types other than those listed here, please call 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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