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IDEXX introduces test for canine and feline H1N1 influenza virus

WESTBROOK, Maine, December 8, 2009—IDEXX Reference Laboratories introduces its latest RealPCR™ test for canine and feline H1N1 influenza virus. The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR™ Test is offered in response to concern about the spread of this disease, helping veterinarians diagnose and manage patients with suspected respiratory infection.

Also referred to as swine flu, H1N1 was confirmed for the first time in October as the cause of death of a ferret. H1N1 infection has since been confirmed as the cause of respiratory disease in a number of cats and ferrets, which are believed to have contracted the virus from their owners. While there is no evidence these pets spread the virus to other animals or people, the potential exists for the H1N1 virus to infect companion animals, including dogs, as a result of close contact with infected family members.

“The clinical signs of the H1N1 virus are likely to resemble other canine and feline respiratory infections,” said Christian Leutenegger, DrVetMed, PhD, FVH, Regional Head of Molecular Diagnostics at IDEXX Reference Laboratories. “Offering the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease and Canine Respiratory Disease RealPCR™ panels will help practitioners identify and differentiate multiple causes of respiratory infection for improved diagnosis and patient management.”

Veterinarians should consider running the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test on patients with suspected respiratory disease or those with suspected H1N1 infection. Given the short shedding period of influenza viruses, samples should be submitted for testing within 7 days of the onset of clinical signs to avoid false-negative results. Test results are typically available within 72 hours.

The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test is included with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD) and Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR panels at no additional cost. A stand-alone test is also available. For more information, call our internal medicine specialists at 1-888-433-9987, option 4, option 2, or go to www.idexx.com/pcr.