Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detects the presence of infectious agents by identifying the genomic material of the agent being investigated. Unlike serology, which indicates whether an animal has been infected either recently or in the past, PCR determines if the agent is still present thereby informing the clinician that an active infection is in progress. It is often more sensitive and specific than other available tests including culture (in particular for viruses) and is often more rapid than culture. Results must always be interpreted in combination with clinical signs.
The targets for this PCR are as follows:
- Campylobacter spp. (including C. jejuni, C. lari, C. coli; excludes C. fetus)
- Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin
- Salmonella (including S. enterica & S. bongori)
- Giardia lamblia (includes assemblages A, B, C, D, E & F)
- Cryptospordium (includes C. parvum, C. hominis, C. wrairi, C. meleagridis; excludes C. tyzzeri, C. baileyi, C. felis.
- Coronaviruses (Feline CoV/FIP, some Canine CoV (reduced efficacy))
- Trichomonas foetus (cattle and cat genotypes)
- Toxoplasma gondii (all three lineages I, II & III)
- Canine Distemper Virus (canine distemper in multiple species including ferrets, mink, seal & macaque)
Feline and canine
Faeces (Minimum 1 g faeces)
Sterile pot or faeces collection pot
Passed faeces or collected per rectum. DNA will degrade in faeces, as such samples must be tested within 72 hours.