Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s 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. (See past updates here: http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/uk-gluck-center-and-vdl-preliminarily-identify-novel-rotavirus)

 

This virus could not be detected using current diagnostic tests for Equine Rotavirus A and appears to be different than the virus strain used in the currently available commercial vaccine.

 

UK has now developed a real-time PCR assay to detect this new Equine Rotavirus B in fecal specimens. The test is offered by the UKVDL as an individual test as well as part of equine diarrhea panels as described below:

 

Equine Rotavirus B, Real-time PCR fee is $45 (in-state)

 

Equine Diarrhea (Multiplex Viral PCR, Panel 4) fee is $80

This is a multiplex real-time PCR assay which 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 is $140. 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. 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. 

 

Please contact Erdal Erol, DVM, MSc, PhD, head of diagnostic microbiology and associate professor at the UKVDL (Erdal.erol@uky.edu) or Deborah Maples, DVM, diagnostic services coordinator at the UKVDL (deborah.maples@uky.edu or 859-257-8283) for  more information about this test.

 

Craig Carter, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM, director of the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory provided this information in a UKVDL bulletin.