IDEXX Now Offers 48-hour R. equi Testing Results

A rapid PCR test is now available through IDEXX/EBI to detect virulent or avirulent strains of R. equi bacteria, the leading cause of foal pneumonia. IDEXX noted that its R. equi test uses PCR methods that are more rapid and sensitive than culture, and can identify virulent R. equi.

"Horses are unique in that the R. equi strains which cause disease almost all contain a plasmid that carries a virulence gene," noted the company. "VapA, whose function is not well understood, is necessary for clinical disease. The detection of R. equi by standard bacterial culture can be difficult if the horse has received antibiotic therapy. Further, culture cannot identify strains that carry the virulence plasmid. PCR methods are not only more rapid and sensitive than culture, but also can identify virulent R. equi."

Tests are performed daily, Monday–Friday, with results available within 48 hours. Your veterinarian will take a specimen that is at least 5 mL of tracheal wash fluid placed in a sterile tube without preservatives. The sample should be shipped within 24 hours of collection to IDEXX. If the sample must be stored, stored, refrigerate it at 4°C, but do not freeze. Samples should be shipped with an ice pack to: IDEXX/EBI, 1501 Bull Lea Road, Suite 104, Lexington, KY 40511.

For more information call 800/621-8378, e-mail, or visit


About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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