Virology

The diagnostic virology section of the Animal Health Centre offers an extensive and complete virology laboratory service for the detection of viral infections in domestic poultry, wild and exotic birds, food and fur bearing animals, companion animals, wild and zoological species, marine mammals and aquaculture salmonids.  

The diagnostic virology section performs virus isolation in cell culture and embryonated chicken eggs and uses techniques such as Electron Microscopy (EM), Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT), Virus Neutralization (serum neutralization), Hemagglutination (HA) and Hemagglutination Inhibition (HI) for detection of viruses, viral antigens and antibodies produced in response to viral infections.

Specimens for Virology and Molecular Diagnostics - Submission Requirements

Proper collection and handling of diagnostic specimens are critical for the success of virus detection and virus isolation techniques. As peak virus titers are usually present at the onset of clinical signs, diagnostic specimens for virus detection and virus isolation should be collected immediately after the animal first develops clinical signs. Collection of samples during the acute phase of viral infection usually provides sufficient amount of virus for detection by various assays. Samples collected later in the course of infection may lead to false negative results or misdiagnosis when secondary bacterial infection is involved.

AHC currently uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assays, virus isolation, Electron Microscopy (EM), Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT) for direct detection of viruses in clinical samples. Many of the samples used for PCR can also be used for virus isolation if collected and stored properly.

Collection and storage: Samples must be aseptically collected and kept refrigerated immediately after collection. Samples that cannot immediately be transported to the laboratory should be stored at 4°C for a maximum of two days. Samples must be kept frozen at –70°C or lower for long term storage. The use of ice pack refrigerants to keep the specimens cold while in transit is extremely important for virus detection. If specimens are frozen, they must remain frozen in transit and not be allowed to thaw out.

Swabs for virology testing (PCR, Virus isolation and EM): Viral swabs can be submitted in virus transport medium (VTM) or Universal Transport Medium (UTM) or Brain Heart Infusion broth (BHI).

  • Use only dry polyester or dacron swabs on plastic handles for collection and submission of swab samples for virus isolation and PCR tests.
  • After thoroughly swabbing the area of interest, place the swab in the collection tube containing 3-5 ml of VTM or UTM or BHI and swirl vigorously.
  • Squeeze the liquid off the swab (press and roll) along the inside wall of the tube and discard swab into a disinfectant solution.
  • Securely close the cap and clean the outside of each tube and seal the tubes in plastic zip lock bags.
  • Store swabs at 4°C and transport immediately to the laboratory.

DO NOT use:  Cotton-tipped or calcium alginate swabs, swabs with wood or paper handles or swabs in bacterial transport media and agar may not be used. Residual bleach and other chemicals in cotton swabs and wooden handles and agar in the bacterial transport media can be inhibitory to PCR and may inactivate viruses.

Swabs for bacterial PCR tests: Swabs can be submitted in sterile saline. Swabs submitted in bacterial transport media are not suitable for PCR testing.

Fresh tissues: Whenever possible, submit fresh tissues in a sterile, leak proof container for virus isolation and PCR assays. Autolyzed tissues are not suitable for virus isolation.

Whole blood: Use tubes containing anti-coagulants such as citrate (blue stopper), EDTA (purple stopper) or heparin (green stopper) and submit a minimum of 5 mL.

Feces: Submit approximately 5-10gm (1-2 tsp) in securely closed sterile container. Outer surfaces of the container must be clean and dry. Do not submit feces in plastic bags or gloves.

Virology Tests & Fees

Avian Adenovirus & Isolation $40.00
Avian Beak & Feather Virus - Isolation $40.00
Avian Enteric Viruses (Astro/Rota/Picorna/others) - Isolation $40.00
Avian Herpes Virus (other) Isolation $40.00
Avian Influenza (AI) Virus & Isolation $40.00
Avian Influenza Serology $10.00
Avian Paramyxovirus-1 (APMV-1) (Newcastle Disease Virus) Isolation $40.00
Avian Pox Virus Isolation $40.00
Avian Reovirus - Isolation $40.00
Avian Yucaipa Virus (PMV2) Isolation $40.00
Bovine Adenovirus Isolation $40.00
Bovine Enteric Viruses (Rota/Corona/Astro/others) - Isolation $40.00
Bovine Herpes Mammalitis Virus - Isolation $40.00
Bovine Papular Stomatitis virus - Isolation $40.00
Bovine Parainfluenza Virus Type 3 Isolation $40.00
Bovine Parainfluenza Virus Type 3 Serology - SN $10.00
Bovine Parvovirus - Isolation $40.00
Bovine Coronavirus - Isolation $40.00
Bovine Respiratory Coronavirus - SN $10.00
Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) Isolation $40.00
Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) Serology - SN $10.00
Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) Isolation $40.00
Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) Type 1 & 2 Serology - SN $10.00
Canine Adenovirus Type 2 Isolation $50.00
Canine Coronavirus - Isolation $50.00
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) Isolation $50.00
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) Serology - SN $10.00
Canine Herpes Virus Isolation $50.00
Canine Parainfluenza Virus Isolation $50.00
Canine Parvovirus - Isolation $50.00
Contagious Ecthyma (ORF) POX - Isolation $40.00
Duck Viral Enteritis (DVE) Isolation $40.00
Duck Viral Hepatitis (DVH-1) Isolation $40.00
Electron Microscopy - Production Animals $47.00
Electron Microscopy - All other animals $60.00
Equine Adenovirus (Resp. Disease) Isolation $50.00
Equine Herpes Virus 1 Isolation $50.00
Equine Herpes Virus 1 Serology - SN $10.00
Equine Herpes Virus 4 Isolation $50.00
Equine Influenza Virus Isolation $50.00
Equine Influenza Virus Serology - HI $10.00
Equine Rotavirus - Isolation $50.00
Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) Isolation - Tissues & Semen $50.00
Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) Serology $10.00
Feline Calicivirus Isolation $50.00
Feline Coronavirus Isolation $50.00
Feline Panleukopenia (Parvo) VirusIsolation $50.00
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (Herpes) Isolation $50.00
Fowl Pox Virus Isolation $40.00
Hemagglutinating Encephalomyelitis Virus (HEV) Isolation $40.00
Hemorraghic Enteritis Virus (HE) Detection - Isolation $40.00
Immunoglobulin - Bovine IgG, IgM - by RID $10.00
Immunoglobulin - Equine IgG, IgM - by RID $10.00
Immunoglobulin - Porcine IgG by RID $10.00
Inclusion Body Hepatitis (Adenovirus) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) Serology - SN $10.00
Infectious Bronchitis (IB) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Canine Hepatitis (ICH) Isolation $50.00
Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHN) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) Isolation $40.00
Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis virus Isolation $40.00
Infectious Salmon Anemia Isolation $40.00
Mink Aleutian Disease Virus (Parvo) CIE $40.00
Mink Distemper Virus (CDV) Isolation $40.00
Mink Distemper Virus Serology - SN $10.00
Mink Enteric Viruses (Rota/Corona) -Isolation $40.00
Mink Enteritis Virus (Parvo) Isolation $40.00
Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) Isolation $40.00
Pacheco's Disease (Herpes) Virus Isolation $50.00
Phocid Morbillivirus Isolation $40.00
Porcine Enteric Viruses (Corona/Rota/Astro) - Isolation $40.00
Porcine Parvovirus Isolation $40.00
Porcine Pox Virus - Isolation $40.00
Quail Bronchitis (Adenovirus) Isolation $40.00
Rabbit Herpes Virus Isolation $40.00
Rabbit Papova Virus - Isolation $40.00
Swine Influenza Virus Isolation $40.00
Swine Influenza Virus Serology HI $10.00
Torovirus (Breda) Isolation $40.00
Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE) Virus Serology SN $10.00
Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGE)Virus Isolation $40.00
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Isolation $40.00
Viral Hemorraghic Septicemia Virus (VHS) Isolation $40.00