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

Neospora hughesi PCR test for horses
equine assay data sheet

Neospora hughesi

Test code:
X0009 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Neospora hughesi by real time polymerase chain reaction.

X0009 is included in P0017 - equine protozoal myeloencephalitis panel and in P0014 - equine neurological panel.


Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is one of the most challenging and exasperating diseases in horses, not only for veterinary scientists but for horse owners as well. EPM is the most commonly diagnosed neurologic disease of horses in North America (MacKay, 1997). It occurs when protozoal parasites infect and invade the central nervous system. EPM infection results in characteristic lesions in the brain and spinal cord that are evident during necropsy. The presence of these lesions correlates well with the clinical signs generally attributed to EPM (ataxia, muscle atrophy, etc).

Until the availability of molecular testing, it was almost impossible to definitively identify the causative agent and infection status of an affected horse. If a horse showed signs of neurologic problems, the veterinarian began a process of elimination to determine what was NOT causing the symptoms. Traditional EPM tests were only effective at determining that the horse did not have EPM. If traditional EPM test results were positive, that only definitively revealed that the horse had been exposed in the past to the parasites that cause EPM. Testing could not show whether the horse had an active infection by those parasites.

Until recently the parasitic organism Sarcocystis neurona was thought to be the sole cause of EPM. However, a newly identified parasite, Neospora hughesi, has now been recognized as another cause of this disease. Both species are challenging to treat due to the concealment of cysts in tissue, which can result in recrudescence of infection even after treatment. Because infections from N. hughesi, their lesions and the actual parasites are so similar to S. neurona, it is likely that some Neospora infections have been mistaken in the past for Sarcocystis infections.

PCR is the most specific and sensitive method available for detection of Neospora hughesi. This testing technique is vital to correctly identifying the EPM pathogen in affected horses.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical diagnosis of N. hughesi infection.
  • Help ensure that herds are free of N. hughesi
  • Early prevention of spread of this parasite among a herd
  • Minimize personnel exposure to this parasite
  • Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines that derive from horses

MacKay, R.J. (1997) Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Vet. Clin. North Am. Equine Pract. 13:79–96.

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

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 real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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