Testing Animals for SARS-CoV-2

Testing Animals for SARS-CoV-2

For your information, IDEXX issued a press release this morning on its new commercially available IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test for animals. A link to that press release appears below, along with links to a diagnostic update, and FAQs and product information page.

AVMA updated its website to include additional information on animal testing yesterday, including creating a new webpage Testing Animals for SARS-CoV-2,  as well as updating our FAQs. CDC has also updated its guidance here: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Additional information is available from:

Current expert understanding is that SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted person-to-person. People have spread the virus to certain animals, but this appears to be rare. Currently, there is no evidence that animals incidentally infected in this way spread COVID-19 to people. For these reasons, AVMA, CDC, USDA, AAVLD, NASPHV, and IDEXX DO NOT recommend routine testing for animals for SARS-CoV-2. Because the situation is ever-evolving, public health and animal health officials may decide to test certain animals following specific criteria (see AVMA webpage for more information). In the United States, the decision to test should be made collaboratively between the attending veterinarian and local, state, and/or federal public health and animal health officials.

Please refer to USDA’s frequently asked questions for sample collection, transport, storage, and reporting of results. If samples are sent to state animal health, university, or private laboratories for initial testing, all samples should be collected by a licensed and, preferably, USDA-accredited veterinarian and in duplicate because positive samples must be confirmed through additional testing by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL). The USDA is responsible for reporting any animal that tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the United States to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).



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