"Concerned horse owners should consult with veterinarians for a thorough examination and discuss effective EVH-1 testing."
For horse owners who want to test for EHV-1, the laboratory strongly recommends requesting an Equine Herpesvirus type 1 PCR (EHV-1 PCR).
Turnaround time for PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing is no more than five working days. Acceptable samples are nasal swabs and whole blood (EDTA anticoagulant).
For euthanized animals the lab recommends fresh tissues - liver, spleen, brain, and for abortion cases, an aborted foetus or placenta.
In these cases, suitable tests are EHV-1 PCR and histopathology.
Serology testing from a single sample has limited diagnostic value in this situation due to widespread EHV-1 exposure and vaccination in the general equine population.
The laboratory offers the following advice for samples submitted to it.
Test specimens - blood in purple tops and/or nasal swabs - should be sent to TVMDL's College Station laboratory: Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, 1 Sippel Rd., College Station, TX 77843-4471.
Specimens should be submitted by overnight courier. If clinical disease is suspected nasal swabs and whole blood (EDTA) may also be submitted for virus isolation. Results from virus isolation require a two week turnaround time.
Owners or veterinarians who have questions or concerns about diagnostic testing for EHV-1 should contact TVMDL at: Phone (979) 845-3414 or toll free at (888) 646-5623; Fax (979) 845-1794