Equine Piroplasmosis Testing now Available at Texas Labs

The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratories recently announced that it has received approval from USDA's veterinary services to test for equine piroplasmosis for interstate and intrastate movement. EP is considered foreign to the United States and is caused by the protozoa Babesia (Theileria) equi and Babesia caballi. Prior to this announcement, the only location approved to perform EP testing was the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

EP, which affects horses, but not people, has recently been detected in Texas and several other states. As a result of this detection, numerous states are now requiring horses to be EP-tested prior to entry, hence the need for increased lab capability.

Practitioners can now submit samples for testing to TVMDL's Amarillo and College Station locations. Both labs will be equipped to receive samples starting June 1, 2010. Cost for the tests is $15 each for in-state and $17 each for out-of-state. Test "run days" will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Turnaround for results is approximately two days. Specimens must be in the lab and in the serology testing section by 11 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday for testing to be set up on those days.

The required specimen is 1cc of clear serum for each test. Due to the complexity of regulatory import requirements in the United States and with international export, TVMDL will run both tests when an EP test request is received. If the request is to run only B. equi or B. caballi, that must clearly be defined on the submission form.

Equine piroplasmosis testing limitations:
- The reason for testing must be specified on the submission form
- TVMDL can test specimens for EP only for intrastate and interstate purposes. Testing for international export or for diagnostic cases with possible clinical symptoms must be sent to NVSL.

For more information about testing, visit the TVMDL.

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