Moving reptiles?  Use our snake and lizard quarantine PCR panel to avoid spreading contagious agents.

Ruminating about hoofstock issues?  Try our ruminant fecal screening PCR panel - tests for most common GI pathogens in wild & domestic ruminants.

Our Rodent Infestation PCR Panel tests for 5 common pathogens found in rodent-contaminated facilities.

In over your head? Try our waterborne pathogens PCR panel - detection of 7 different environmental pathogens by real time PCR.

Something fishy going on in your tanks? Try our Zebrafish screening PCR panel - tests for 6 different pathogen categories from one easy-to-collect sample.

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Zoologix performs environmental, zoo, wildlife and aquatic PCR tests for...

Aeromonas hydrophila

African swine fever

Aleutian disease

Amphibian panel

Anisakis worms



Bacillus species

Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis

Baylisascaris procyonis

Borna virus

Borrelia burgdorferi



Canine circovirus

Canine distemper

Canine parvovirus

Capillaria xenopodis


Chlamydophila pneumoniae

Chytrid fungus

Citrobacter freundii

Classical swine fever





Coxiella burnetii



Cryptosporidium serpentis

Cryptosporidium varanii (formerly saurophilum)

Delftia acidovorans

E. coli O157:H7

E. coli panel



Enterobacter cloacae


Epizootic hemorrhagic disease

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)

Feline panleukopenia

Ferret respiratory enteric coronavirus

Francisella tularensis




Hepatitis E

Herring worms


Influenza type A

Influenza type B

Japanese encephalitis

Johne's disease

Kangaroo herpesviruses


Lawsonia intracellularis




Listeria monocytogenes

Lizard quarantine panel

Lyme disease

Macropodid (kangaroo) herpesviruses


Mink enteritis virus


Mycobacteria in mammals, amphibians and fish

Mycoplasma mustelae

Mycoplasma species

Neospora caninum

Nipah virus

Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola

Pasteurella multocida

Pentastomid worms

Plasmodium species

Porcine cytomegalovirus

Porcine lymphotropic herpesvirus

Porcine parvovirus

Pseudocapillaria tomentosa

Pseudocapillaroides xenopi

Pseudoloma neurophilia


Pseudoterranova worms

Q fever


Raillietiella orientalis


Reovirus screen


Rift Valley fever



Sarcocystis neurona

Snake fungal disease

Snake quarantine panel

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

St. Louis encephalitis

Strep pneumoniae

Streptococcus pyogenes

Swine vesicular disease

Tongue worms

Toxoplasma gondii

Treponema pallidum


Trypanosoma cruzi

Trypanosoma evansi


Turtle fraservirus


Valley Fever

Vesicular stomatitis


West Nile virus

White nose syndrome

Yersinia enterocolitica

Yersinia pestis

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis

Canine distemper PCR test
wildlife and zoo assay data sheet

Canine distemper virus (CDV)

Test code:
S0092 - Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of canine distemper virus (CDV) by reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction


Canine distemper (CD) is a highly contagious disease in young dogs, particularly those 3 to 6 months of age. It has a high morbidity and mortality rate. The disease can be spread by aerosol infection (Appel and Gillespie, 1972) and is characterized by a diphasic fever curve and acute rhinitis, and later by bronchitis, catarrhal pneumonia, severe gastroenteritis, and nervous signs.

The causative agent of the disease is a virus belonging to the genus Morbillivirus of family Paramyxoviridae. Since the canine distemper virus (CDV) can survive for a longer period of time in cold conditions, the disease spreads mainly in winter months. Although the disease is highly communicable, it is comparatively rare in many developed countries due to vaccination using the attenuated live virus, but occasional outbreaks of CDV infection can still occur in vaccinated populations of dogs. In areas with unvaccinated populations, CD is extremely widespread.

The host spectrum of CDV comprises dogs and many other carnivores and noncarnivores as well as marine mammals. Recently, a possible link between Paget's disease of bone in humans and CDV infection was shown by epidemiological studies and was substantiated by detection of CDV RNA in affected tissues (Gordon, et al., 1992; O’Driscoll, et al., 1990). CDV is also discussed as a candidate that might play a role in the initiation of multiple sclerosis (Rohowsky-Kochan, et al., 1995). Thus prevention of CDV infection in house dogs may have a direct impact on human safety.

Diagnosis of CD in acute or subacute form is usually based on clinical signs and history in unvaccinated puppies. But it has been difficult to differentiate CD from other diseases such as kennel cough in the early stage. Serologic detection of IgM antibody can be useful, but poses a problem in young puppies due to uncertainty caused by maternal antibody interference. Definitive diagnosis can be made through isolation of CDV, or through detection of CDV in epithelial cells after fluorescent antibody (FA) staining. However, virus isolation takes several days to weeks and is frequently not effective in the acute stage of the infection. In addition, FA testing is successful only during the first few days of acute signs of distemper.

CDV detection by PCR is the most rapid, sensitive and specific method for the diagnosis of this infection. It also helps to eliminate false negative and positive cases.


  • Help confirm the disease causing agent
  • Help ensure that animal groups and populations are free of CDV
  • Early prevention of spread of this virus among a population
  • Minimize human exposure to this virus
  • Safety monitoring of biological products and vaccines that derive from susceptible animals

Appel, M. J. G., and Gillespie, J.H.(1972). Canine distemper virus, p. 1-96. In S. Gard, C. Hallauer, and K. F. Meyer (ed.), Virology monographs 11. Springer-Verlag, New York, N.Y.
Gordon, M. T., Mee, A.P., Anderson, D.C. and Sharp, P.T. (1992) Canine distemper virus transcripts sequenced from pagetic bone. Bone Miner. 19:159-174.
O'Driscoll, J. B., Buckler, H.M., Jeacock, J. and Anderson, D.C. (1990) Dogs, distemper and osteitis deformans: a further epidemiological study. Bone Miner. 11:209-216.
Rohowsky-Kochan, C., Dowling, P.C., and Cook, S.D. (1995) Canine distemper virus-specific antibodies in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 45:1554-1560.

Specimen requirement: Nasopharyngeal swab, or 0.2 ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml CSF, urine, plasma or serum, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen tissue.

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 reverse transcription coupled real time PCR

Normal range: Nondetected

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