Companion Animal Diagnostics
Read about the extensive range of diseases we offer diagnostic testing for by species
Companion Animal Diagnostics - Canine
The interferon gamma test is intended to assist in the diagnosis of suspected canine TB cases. The interferon gamma test can be useful in categorising dogs with suggestive lesions appropriately. This in turn can inform decisions as to whether treatment is appropriate and whether it is necessary to report the case to AHVLA (Suspected Bovine TB is a notifiable disease in all mammals). IMPORTANT - This test is usually only performed on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. A minimum of 2ml of heparinised blood should be collected on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the test is run and sent to the laboratory by an overnight service. Please call Biobest before arranging to collect sample to confirm testing scheduling. There is a £200 additional charge for testing outwith scheduled testing. Samples must not be chilled as this will interfere with cell viability and test performance.
Antibody titres to canine distemper, canine adenovirus canine parainfluenza and canine herpesvirus are determined by a virus neutralisation test. This is the most reliable assay for the detection of vaccinal status or antibodies due to infection.
We use the IIFT to determine the levels of antibodies to canine parvovirus in serum.
Antibodies to Neospora are detected in serum or plasma by indirect immunofluorescence (IIFT).
IgG or IgM antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii are detected in serum or plasma by indirect immunofluorescence.
We offer the Virbac CPSE ELISA, the first ELISA based test to screen, diagnose and monitor BPH. For more information on CPSE, please watch our video on the disease.
There is increasing concern in the veterinary world regarding the over-vaccination of dogs. The requirement for repeat distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus vaccination can be assessed by serology. Certificates are available on request.
Antibodies to leptospirosis are detected using an IIFT test. This test detects antibodies to all pathogenic serovars but not vaccination.
Canine Parvovirus - Canine parvovirus can be detected from faecal samples by PCR. Virus Isolation - Virus isolation can be performed for distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, herpesvirus and parainfluenza. Canine Distemper Virus - We can detect CDV using PCR. Leptospirosis - We can perform leptospirosis PCR on urine or tissue samples.
Companion Animal Diagnostics - Feline
The interferon gamma test is intended to assist in the diagnosis of suspected feline TB cases. The interferon gamma test can be useful in categorising cats with suggestive lesions appropriately. This in turn can inform decisions as to whether treatment is appropriate and whether it is necessary to report the case to AHVLA (Suspected Bovine TB is a notifiable disease in all mammals). There is also some evidence that the test can be used to monitor treatment, with responses falling in cats in remission. IMPORTANT - This test is usually only performed on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month. A minimum of 2ml of heparinised blood should be collected on the Tuesday or Wednesday before the test is run and sent to the laboratory by an overnight service. Please call Biobest before arranging to collect sample to confirm testing scheduling. There is a £200 additional charge for testing outwith scheduled testing. Samples must not be chilled as this will interfere with cell viability and test performance.
We offer the Indirect immunofluorescence Test (IIFT) for the detection of antibodies to Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in cat serum or plasma. The IIFT is regarded as the routine assay offering the greatest sensitivity and specificity, and has significantly improved performance over commercially available kit tests. If an ELISA or immunochromatography test is used for initial screening then it is considered best practice to confirm positives in healthy animals and negatives in sick animals by IIFT.
IgG or IgM antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii are detected in serum or plasma by indirect immunofluorescence. This regarded as the best available serological method.
Antibodies to Neospora are detected in serum or plasma by indirect immunofluorescence (IIFT).
We use a IIFT assay for the detection and titration of antibodies to feline panleukopaenia virus in cat serum or plasma.
Antibodies are detected in serum or plasma by Virus Neutralisation Tests.
There is increasing concern in the veterinary world regarding the over vaccination of cats. The requirement for repeat Herpesvirus, Calicivirus and Panleukopaenia Virus vaccination can be assessed by pre-booster serology. Results certificates are available on request.
These tests detect the presence or absence of the infectious agent in the sample submitted. Feline Leukaemia Virus - FeLV antigen positive cells can be detected in heparinised blood samples. Fluorescence is regarded as the most accurate routinely available test. Feline Parvovirus - Feline parvovirus (panleukopaenia) can be detected in faecal samples by PCR. Feline Chlamydia and Feline Herpesvirus - Feline chlamydia and herpes virus can be detected by PCR from nasal, pharyngeal and ocular swabs. Virus Isolation - A variety of feline viruses may be isolated from swabs, tissues and faecal samples as appropriate. Please contact us for further details and instructions.
We perform rabies serology testing on dogs and cats for purposes of pet travel.
Companion Animal Diagnostics - Equine
EIA commonly known as swamp fever is a viral disease of horses caused by the lentivirus equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV). Due to the persistence of EIAV in infected horses, detection of serum antibody to EIAV confirms the diagnosis of EIA virus infection. Whilst ELISA tests are quicker than other techniques the OIE recommend that all positive tests are confirmed by the Agar Gel Immunodiffusion (AGID) or Coggin's Test. Therefore at Biobest we have chosen to provide the AGID test. Precipitating antibody is rapidly produced as a result of EIA infection, and can be detected by the AGID (Coggin's) Test. Specific reactions are indicated by precipitin lines between the EIA antigen and the test serum and confirmed by their identity with the reaction between the antigen and the positive standard serum. Horses in the first 2-3 weeks after infection will usually give negative serological reactions. In rare cases the post-infection time prior to the appearance of detectable antibody may extend up to 60 days Tests will be performed daily Monday to Thursday and results available after a 24 hour incubation period. Urgent tests may be set up at additional times if required, please contact us to discuss this.
Companion Animal Diagnostics - Avian
Biobest Diagnostics (formerly Angen) provides specialist Avian DNA sex testing and diagnosis services to bird owners and veterinary surgeons. We are the only laboratory conducting these tests in the UK - we do not refer samples overseas. The sexing PCR detects DNA sequences in the avian sex chromosomes. Cock birds are ZZ, and hen birds ZW. We have developed two slightly different methods based on this difference, which allow us to test most species of birds successfully.
Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD) is caused by a circovirus. It has a wide species range although it appears to be a natural virus infection of cockatoos in Australasia where it occurs in wild flocks. It has been known in wild cockatoos in Australia for many years and recently Ducorps cockatoos from the Solomon Islands have also been found to be infected. Old world parrots seem most prone to clinical disease although other psittacines can also be affected. A related virus can cause disease in pigeons and doves.
Avian chlamydiosis is a reportable, acute or chronic infectious disease of certain poultry, cage, wild and migratory birds. The disease is zoonotic and can affect people severely, various disease syndromes are seen in humans from mild flu-like signs through severe respiratory problems, hepatitis and even death in the elderly. In Psittacidae (parrots, parakeets, cockatoos etc) and humans the disease is called psittacosis. In other bird species it may be referred to as ornithosis. We use PCR to detect DNA from chlamydia psittaci in faecal material. The nature of psittacosis is such that affected birds that are relatively well do not shed the organism every day. Taking pooled samples (rice grain amounts) into one sample container daily over 3 days improves detection. Only a small amount of sample can be tested in each PCR so sending large volumes of sample will not increase the chances of detection. Always discuss the testing strategy with your avian veterinarian.
Avian polyomavirus (APV) was first discovered in budgies and was called Budgerigar Fledgling disease, although it has since been discovered that most species of psittacine birds are susceptible to infection.
Pigeon circovirus (PiCV) infections have been reported worldwide. A broad range of clinical signs are associated with this virus, including lethargy, anorexia, weight loss, reduced race performance, respiratory distress and diarrhoea. Definitive diagnosis has to date relied on histopathology. Examination of infected young birds reveals the presence of characteristic inclusions in lymphoid tissue such as the bursa of Fabricius. As this organ shrinks in size as birds grow older and is tiny or absent in adult birds, diagnosis by histopathology alone is unreliable. PCR detects the presence or absence of the viral genome, and can assist the diagnosis of PiCV disease at post mortem. We have validated this test using liver samples and gut contents from pigeon and non-pigeon species, and have shown there is a link between strong positive PCR results and clinical signs compatible with PiCV related disease. In addition, positive PCR results and positive histopathology results were shown to be correlated. Negative PCR results can rule out the involvement of PiCV infection in sick pigeons. This test may be performed on samples of the liver and gut contents.