Diagnostic tests available for malignant catarrhal fever
through the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
Competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA)
cELISA is a specific, rapid assay for detection of
the antibody against the MCF group of viruses. It
employs a monoclonal antibody (15-A) to an epitope
conserved among all known MCF-group viruses. These
include alcelaphine herpesvirus 1, alcelaphine
herpesvirus 2, ovine herpesvirus 2, caprine
herpesvirus 2, the virus of unknown origin causing
classic MCF in white-tailed deer, and the MCF-group
viruses carried by the muskox, ibex and oryx. The
cELISA is most useful for screening for infection,
not for diagnosing disease.
PCR specific for OvHV-2
(sheep-associated MCF virus)
This test detects only OvHV-2 DNA. PCR is the method
of choice for confirming clinical sheep-associated
MCF in a clinically-susceptible host.
PCR for other MCF-group viruses
(only upon special
request): Detection of AlHV-1, CpHV-2 or the white-tailed deer MCF virus can be done on special
request. Contact the lab for more information.
Consensus PCR for herpesviruses
(upon request). This
consensus PCR is based on a set of degenerate
primers targeting a region of the herpesviral DNA
polymerase gene (VanDevanter et al.,1996). Given
sufficient target DNA, this assay will detect all
members of the Herpesviridae family of
viruses. Sequencing of the amplicon thus obtained
can help identify an unknown herpesvirus.
More information about MCF testing, sample submission
instructions, fees and contact information is available at the
website of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
at: waddl.vetmed.wsu.edu. They can be
contacted by phone at 509-335-9696.