Respiratory symptoms got you breathless? Try our equine respiratory PCR panel -- we test for 7 respiratory bacteria and viruses from 1 swab.

Neurological symptoms got you down? Try our equine neurological PCR panel -- we test for 5 neurological diseases from 1 CSF or tissue sample.

Diarrhea got you on the run? Try our equine GI / diarrhea PCR panel -- we test for 4 GI diseases from 1 fecal or swab sample.

Oh baby! Our equine breeding/abortion PCR panel tests for 5 diseases affecting breeding success from 1 swab or semen sample.

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For our international clients: Our DRY CARDS let you mail blood samples to Zoologix easily and cheaply from anywhere. Samples are small, light and stable at room temperature.

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Zoologix performs equine PCR tests for...

African horse sickness

Anaplasma phagocytophilum





Borna virus

Borrelia burgdorferi

Burkholderia mallei and pseudomallei

Clostridium difficile

Clostridium species

Contagious equine metritis (CEM)




Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli panel

Equine adenoviruses

Equine arteritis virus (EAV)

Equine hepatitis virus

Equine herpesvirus
type 1

Equine herpesvirus
type 2

Equine herpesvirus
type 3

Equine herpesvirus
type 4

Equine herpesvirus
type 5

Equine infectious anemia (EIA)

Equine parvovirus

Equine piroplasmosis

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM)





Horsepox virus

Influenza type A

Japanese encephalitis

Lawsonia intracellularis


Lyme disease


Neospora caninum

Neospora hughesi


Potomac horse fever


Rhodococcus equi


Sarcocystis neurona

St. Louis encephalitis

Strangles (Strep equi)

Streptococcus pneumoniae




Taylorella equigenitalis

Theileria equi

Toxoplasma gondii


Trypanosoma equiperdum

Trypanosoma evansi

Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE)

Vesicular stomatitis

West Nile virus (WNV)

Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Genetic tests for...

Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis

Equine piroplasmosis PCR test

equine assay data sheet

Etiologic agents: Theileria and Babesia spp. parasites

Test codes:

X0005 - Qualitative detection of Theileria equi (formerly known as Babesia equi) by polymerase chain reaction

X0006 - Qualitative detection of Babesia caballi by polymerase chain reaction


Equine piroplasmosis is caused by the intracellular, haemoprotozoan parasites Theileria equi (formerly known as as Babesia equi, Mehlhorn and Schein, 1998) and Babesia caballi, which are transmitted by ticks of several genera including Boophilus, Hyalomma, Dermacentor and Rhipicephalus. The disease is found in many tropical and subtropical areas. Clinical manifestation of the disease is variable and often includes icterus (jaundice), haemoglobinuria and fever. Both chronic and acute infection can occur. Sub-clinical infected animals are of major concern, as they can be carriers of the organism. The geographic movement of presumably healthy horses may aid in the spread of piroplasmosis. In addition to the fact that sub-clinical piroplasmosis may negatively affect the animal’s performance, it has been shown that strenuous exercise, such as that experienced in horse racing, can cause sub-clinical infections to become acute (Hailat et al., 1997). Thus there is a real need for the diagnosis of both clinical and sub-clinical infections.

In general, B. caballi causes a less severe disease, as only about 1% of the red blood cells are infected. Infections may not be apparent, but can persist 1 to 4 years before they are eventually eliminated. They may be associated with poor appetite, poor performance and weight loss. In contrast, T. equi infects up to 20% of red blood cells, leading to more severe clinical signs including fever, anemia, icterus, increased respiratory and heart rates and enlargement of the spleen. The parasites destroy red blood cells, causing anemia, and the released hemoglobin may cause icterus and dark urine. Colic, constipation followed by diarrhea, and swelling of the legs can occur. Foals can be infected in utero, and can be aborted or born anemic and weak. Animals with T. equi infections become life-long carriers.

Piroplasmosis can be diagnosed by a number of different methods including giemsa-stained blood smear, ELISA and PCR. Giemsa-stained blood smear can only detect these parasites when the infected animal is at the acute stage of infection, and cannot identify chronic carriers. ELISA and other serological detection methods such as complement fixation and indirect fluorescent antibody detection suffer from low sensitivity and cross reactivity. However, PCR has been shown to be sensitive, specific and a useful diagnostic tool for detecting the presence of Theileria and Babesia species (Bose et al., 1995).


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of equine piroplasmosis infection.
  • Help ensure that animal populations are free of equine piroplasmosis
  • Early prevention of spread of these protozoans
  • Minimize personnel exposure to these protozoans
  • Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from horses

Bose, R., Jorgensen, W.K., Dalgliesh, R.J., Friedhoff, K.T. and de Vos, A.J. (1995) Current state and future trends in the diagnosis of babesiosis. Vet. Parasit. 57:61–74.
Hailat, N.Q., Lafi, S.Q., Al-Darraji, A.M. and Al-Ani, F.K. (1997) Equine babesiosis associated with strenuous exercise: clinical and pathological studies in Jordan. Vet. Parasit. 69:1–8.
Mehlhorn, H. and Schein, E. (1998) Redescription of Babesia equi Laveran, 1901 as Theileria equi. Parasitol. Res. 84: 467–475.

Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or tick.

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 PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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