UK Diagnostic Lab Now Offering PCR Testing for Equine Rotavirus B

The UK Diagnostic Lab now offers a real-time PCR assay for equine rotavirus B associated with foal diarrhea.

The UK Diagnostic Lab now offers a real-time PCR assay for equine rotavirus B associated with foal diarrhea. iStock/Dan Brandenburg

Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UKVDL) have preliminarily identified a novel equine rotavirus Group B associated with diarrhea in very young foals. This virus could not be detected using current diagnostic tests for equine rotavirus A, and it appears to be different than the virus strain used in the currently available commercial vaccine.

“We have now developed a real-time PCR assay to detect this new equine rotavirus B in fecal specimens,” noted Craig Carter, DVM MS PhD DACVPM FNAP. “The test is offered by the UKVDL (University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory) as an individual test as well as part of equine diarrhea panels as described below.”

Equine Rotavirus B, Real-time PCR. Fee: $45.00 (in-state)

Equine Diarrhea- (Multiplex Viral PCR, Panel 4). Fee: $80.00 Carter said this is a multiplex real-time PCR assay that is intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of:

  • Equine rotavirus A
  • Equine rotavirus B
  • Equine coronavirus

Combined Bacterial & Viral Multiplex PCR, Panel 5) Fee: $140.00. Carter said this is a multiplex real-time PCR assay intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of

  • Equine rotavirus A
  • Equine rotavirus B
  • Equine coronavirus
  • Clostridium perfringens,
  • Clostridium difficile,
  • Salmonella spp
  • Lawsonia intracellularis,
  • Neorickettsia risticii (agent of Potomac Horse Fever)

“Rotavirus is a serious disease, especially in young foals where fluid and electrolyte losses through watery diarrhea can be life threatening,” stated Carter. “Timely supportive veterinary medical care is indicated. We recommend strict biosecurity protocols as the best protection strategy at this time. Biosecurity protocols need to be developed for each farm in collaboration with your veterinarian.”

Veterinarians can contact Erdal Erol (Erdal.erol@uky.edu) or Dr. Deborah Maples (deborah.maples@uky.edu) from University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at 859-257-8283 for more information about this test.

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