IDEXX Reference Laboratories Introduces RealPCR™ Testing for Canine and Feline H1N1 Influenza Virus

New test aids in diagnosis and patient management of emerging H1N1 threat to household pets

WESTBROOK, Maine, December 08, 2009—IDEXX Reference Laboratories introduces its latest RealPCR™ test for canine and feline H1N1 influenza virus. The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR™ Test is offered in response to concern about the spread of this disease, helping veterinarians diagnose and manage patients with suspected respiratory infection.

Also referred to as swine flu, H1N1 was confirmed for the first time in October as the cause of death of a ferret. H1N1 infection has since been confirmed as the cause of respiratory disease in a number of cats and ferrets, which are believed to have contracted the virus from their owners. While there is no evidence these pets spread the virus to other animals or people, the potential exists for the H1N1 virus to infect companion animals, including dogs, as a result of close contact with infected family members.

"The clinical signs of the H1N1 virus are likely to resemble other canine and feline respiratory infections," said Christian Leutenegger, DrVetMed, PhD, FVH, Regional Head of Molecular Diagnostics at IDEXX Reference Laboratories. "Offering the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease and Canine Respiratory Disease RealPCR™ panels will help practitioners identify and differentiate multiple causes of respiratory infection for improved diagnosis and patient management."

Veterinarians should consider running the H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test on patients with suspected respiratory disease or those with suspected H1N1 infection. Given the short shedding period of influenza viruses, samples should be submitted for testing within 7 days of the onset of clinical signs to avoid false-negative results. Test results are typically available within 72 hours.

The IDEXX H1N1 Influenza Virus RealPCR Test is included with the Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD) and Canine Respiratory Disease (CRD) RealPCR panels at no additional cost. A stand-alone test is also available. For more information, call our internal medicine specialists at 1-888-433-9987, option 4, option 2, or go to www.idexx.com/pcr.

About IDEXX Reference Laboratories and IDEXX Laboratories

IDEXX Reference Laboratories is a worldwide network of laboratories trusted for providing a comprehensive testing menu and consistently delivering accurate diagnostic results to the veterinary industry. IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., the parent company of IDEXX Reference Laboratories, is a leader in pet and equine healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, to improve staff efficiency and to build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic tests and information for the production animal industry and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX Laboratories employs more than 4,700 people and offers products to customers in over 100 countries.

Contact: John Pennypacker, Product Manager, 1-207-556-4399, john-pennypacker@idexx.com