Idexx Laboratories, Inc. has announced that it has made its SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR test for pets available to veterinarians. The company said it is being done “in response to customer demand and growing evidence that in rare cases pets of COVID-19 patients are at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. “
In the past two months, the company tested more than 5,000 cats, dogs and horses in 17 countries that had clinical respiratory symptoms. None of the samples were positive for the COVID-19 virus.
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a world leader in veterinary diagnostics and software. The company announced yesterday the availability of the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR ™ test for pets. IDEXX launches the test in response to customer demand and growing evidence that pets living with COVID-19 positive people may, in rare cases, be at risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The test will become available to vets this week the United States and will be available around the world in the coming weeks.
“We have continued to monitor the rapidly evolving global public health crisis, with a special focus on its effects on pets,” he said Jay Mazelsky , President and CEO of IDEXX Laboratories. “While there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats play a role in transmitting the disease to humans, it became clear that offering the test was important to do when we saw clinical evidence that pets – especially cats and ferrets – in rare cases, there may be a risk of infection. And we heard from our customers around the world that vets needed a test option. “
IDEXX’s guideline, in line with that of medical experts, is that veterinarians order the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR ™ test after consultation with a public health authority (for example, a public veterinarian for the public health in the United States ) and three specific criteria are met:
- The pet lives in a household with a human who has COVID-19 or has tested positive for the virus
- The pet has already been tested for more common infections, and these have been ruled out by a vet
- The pet (especially cats and ferrets) exhibits clinical signs consistent with COVID-19
IDEXX does not expect this veterinary test to have an impact on human COVID-19 tests or test availability.
Understanding COVID-19 and its effects on human and animal health is developing very quickly. Leading health authorities and IDEXX veterinarians agree that the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is primarily human to human and advise against testing asymptomatic pets. Since mid-February, IDEXX Reference Laboratories has tested more than 5,000 samples for the COVID-19 virus from cats, dogs and horses with respiratory complaints in 17 countries. To date, IDEXX has not found any positive results. This suggests that dogs and cats that live with infected humans generally remain uninfected, except in rare and isolated cases.
IDEXX is also the company that supports the development of a PCR test kit, which has since been validated and has been specially developed for use in humans. This initiative is still in an early development phase.
Visit idexx.com/covid19-pet-test for information on the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR ™ Test for Pets.