rodent and rabbit assay data sheet
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV)
S0238 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of rabbit hemorrhagic
disease virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) is a non-enveloped
positive-stranded RNA virus of the genus
family Caliciviridae. The virus is suspected to have evolved
from a pre-existing avirulent rabbit calicivirus. Nonpathogenic
rabbit caliciviruses are circulating in Europe, Australia, and
New Zealand. Because of its close similarity to the
nonpathogenic rabbit caliciviruses, serological detection of
RHDV is very difficult due to cross-reactivity.
At least five distinct genotypes of RHDV have evolved:
Proposed new name
GI.1 (contains GI.1b, GI.1c, GI.1d)
RHDV (classical) only affects adult European rabbits (Oryctolagus
cuniculus). This virus was first reported in China in 1984,
from which it spread to much of Asia, Europe, Australia, and
elsewhere. A few isolated outbreaks of RHDV had been reported in
the United States and Mexico, but they remained localized and
RHDV2 has distinctive genetic, antigenic, and pathogenic features. RHDV2
can kill rabbits previously vaccinated with RHDV vaccines, and
affects young European rabbits as well as hares (Lepus
spp). These features strongly suggest that the virus is not
derived from RHDVa or RHDV (classical), but from some other
unknown source. RHDV2 has since spread through most of Europe,
and to Australia, Canada, and the United States. RHDV2 is highly
contagious and, unlike other rabbit hemorrhagic disease viruses,
it affects both domestic and wild rabbits. The RHDV2 virus is
very resistant to extreme temperatures. It can spread through
direct contact or exposure to an infected rabbit’s excretions or
blood. The virus can also survive and spread from carcasses,
food, water, and other contaminated materials. People can spread
the virus indirectly by carrying it on their clothing and shoes.
When rabbits are infected with RHDV2, the only signs of the
disease may be sudden death and bloodstained noses caused by
internal bleeding. Infected rabbits may also develop fever,
hesitancy to eat, respiratory symptoms and neurological signs.
These viruses cannot be cultured easily. Detection of antibody against
the virus is not specific due to cross reactivity with
non-pathogenic rabbit calicivirus (Nagesha et al., 2000).
Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the
preferred diagnostic method due to its high specificity and
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of RHDV infection.
Help ensure that rabbit colonies and populations are free of this virus
Early prevention of spread of RHDV among a colony or
Minimize human exposure to this virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Nagesha, H., McColl, K., Collins, B. et al. (2000) The presence of
cross-reactive antibodies to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
in Australian wild rabbits prior to the escape of virus from
quarantine. Arch. Virol. 145: 749–757.
Oral swab, or fecal pellet, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen
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.
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.
2 business days
reverse transcription coupled real time PCR