Idexx Laboratories Inc. announced May 7 that the company had developed a PCR assay for the detection of H3N2 canine influenza virus. On May 12, the Department of Agriculture announced availability of an isolate that could be used in development of a vaccine.
An avian-origin H3N2 strain identified in Asia around 2006 was determined to be the cause of a recent widespread canine influenza outbreak in the Chicago area. This highly contagious strain previously had been reported only in Asia but now is spreading among dogs in the United States. Idexx recently confirmed cases in the following states in addition to the outbreak in the Chicago area: Alabama, California, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Idexx has added the H3N2 test to the company’s PCR panel for canine respiratory disease at no additional cost. The H3N2 test also is available as a stand-alone test.
Dr. Christian Leutenegger, head of PCR molecular diagnostics at Idexx, said, “We have developed an accurate diagnostic for this canine influenza strain to ensure that veterinary practices across the country are equipped with the tools they need to provide the best possible care to their patients and to help contain this outbreak and keep it from spreading further in the United States.”
Information is available here.
Samples of an H3N2 isolate are available for purchase from the National Veterinary Services Laboratories’ online catalog. The USDA is making this virus available without restrictions to encourage disease research and development of vaccines and diagnostic test kits.