A mysterious or atypical canine infectious respiratory disease has been reported in 12 states across the United States. At present, we are not aware of any confirmed cases in Missouri. According to studies conducted in Oregon and New Hampshire, the causative agent could be a virus or a non-culturable bacterial species, similar to IOLA KY405, a bacterium associated with human respiratory disease reported in 2021.
The MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory conducts bacterial and fungal culture and antimicrobial susceptibility testing, as well as PCR for adenovirus, distemper virus, and influenza virus. When known bacterial, fungal, and viral agents cannot be detected, the VMDL can conduct metagenomic sequencing of clinical samples to investigate potential causes of the illness.
When you submit samples, please be sure to include several swabs from each canine patient to support bacteriology, PCR, virus isolation, and sequencing. We will use one swab for PCR and virus isolation, one swab for culture, and one swab for sequencing.
For PCR, virus isolation, and sequencing (two separate samples preferred): Swabs must be kept moist. Copan E-swabs with liquid media are acceptable, but gel swabs are not. Synthetic swabs in a red top tube with sterile saline may be used when E-swabs are not readily available. Swabs from multiple locations may be pooled together in the same tube (nasal cavity, oropharynx).
For bacteriology and mycology (one sample): nasal swabs in appropriate media (liquid Amies or equivalent) as well as other types of respiratory tract samples (transtracheal wash or bronchoalveolar lavage) may be used.
Sequencing and subsequent bioinformatic analysis takes one to two weeks. To help the veterinarians and owners of canine patients, the MU VMDL will not charge for sequencing and bioinformatic analysis related to atypical canine infectious respiratory disease. Clinics and owners will be responsible for the charges associated with routine testing for known infectious agents.
General questions regarding canine respiratory testing at the MU VMDL may be directed to Client Services Veterinarian Lauren Delaney, DVM, at 573-882-8367 or email@example.com.