Feline herpes PCR test
dog and cat assay data sheet
herpesvirus type 1 (aka feline rhinotracheitis virus, FHV-1
S0105 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Feline herpesvirus
type 1 (FHV-1) by real time polymerase chain reaction
S0105 is included
on P0020 - feline respiratory
herpesvirus type 1 causes an acute respiratory illness of cats known as
rhinotracheitis. The virus has a worldwide distribution and affects
both domestic and wild cats.
develop respiratory symptoms -- sneezing, nasal discharge, rhinitis
(inflammation of the nose), and conjunctivitis (inflammation of the
membrane lining the eyelid). The virus also affects the reproductive
tract and can cause complications during pregnancy. Rhinotracheitis is
part of the feline upper respiratory infection complex, which is a
group of viral and bacterial infections (e.g., calicivirus,
chlamydiosis) that cause sneezing and discharge from the eyes and
nose. Cats often have two or more of these upper respiratory
infections at the same time, and FHV-1 is one of the most common.
FHV-1 can be shed
through the discharge from an infected cat's eyes, nose and mouth, and
direct contact with these secretions is a common mode of transmission.
Several days of close contact may be necessary for infection to occur.
Another common mode of transmission is contact with contaminated
objects that an infected cat has touched or sneezed on, such as cages,
food and water bowls, litter trays and the pet owner's clothing and
FHV-1 can also cause dermatitis, with lesions or
crusted ulcerations appearing on the face, feet, or other areas.
The major problem
with this infection is that many infected cats never completely get
rid of the FHV-1 virus and become latent carriers. Although they may
not show symptoms, their neurons harbor the virus; they can
intermittently spread the infection and are a major source of new
Diagnosis of FHV-1
infection is difficult by traditional means because clinical symptoms
of FHV-1 are nearly indistinguishable from the other major feline
respiratory pathogens, feline calicivirus and Chlamydia psittaci.
Because of the time-consuming and expensive nature of most previous
diagnostic methods, inaccurate empirical diagnoses were often made,
and these have often resulted in inappropriate treatment of the
disease. Traditional diagnostic techniques include isolation of FHV-1
from nasal exudates, conjunctival or oropharyngeal swabs following
inoculation of cell cultures, and fluorescent antibody on smear
preparations of affected tissues. The commonly used serological
testing requires acute and convalescent phase samples taken 1 to 2
weeks apart. The disadvantages of serological testing include the
difficulty in taking sufficient quantities of blood from affected
kittens, the length of time required to reach a diagnosis and the low
antibody titer in convalescent cats and latent carriers.
detection by PCR avoids many of the disadvantages of these other
methods; PCR detection of FHV-1is rapid, highly sensitive and very
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of Feline herpesvirus type 1 infection
Help ensure that animal groups are free of FHV1
Early prevention of spread of FHV1 between animals
Minimize human exposure to FHV1
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
from susceptible animals
Nasopharyngeal, conjunctival or oral swab, or lesion swab or scab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in
EDTA (purple top) tube.
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 real time