New Laboratory Findings Demonstrate Increased Risk of Tick Exposure for Dogs in Southeastern U.S. [Trade]

Results from the new SNAP 4Dx Plus Test, run at the reference laboratory, indicate a fourfold increase in exposure to ticks carrying Ehrlichia spp.

WESTBROOK, Maine, November 08, 2012—IDEXX Reference Laboratories announces that data from the new SNAP 4Dx Plus Test (Lab 4Dx Plus Test) shows evidence that dogs in the south-central and eastern regions of the United States are being exposed to a greater number of ticks and the diseases they carry than previously thought. Based on the SNAP 4Dx Plus Test, which detects antibodies to the tick-borne pathogens Ehrlichia ewingii, Anaplasma platys, Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, as well as heartworm antigen, findings indicate as much as a fourfold increase in measured exposure to Ehrlichia species.

Results from reference laboratory testing in 2011 (without Ehrlichia ewingii and Anaplasma platys) were compared to SNAP 4Dx Plus tests run one year later. A comparison was made between Ehrlichia positivity rates for April–June 2011 versus the same months in 2012. The graph outlines reference laboratory locations that showed the most significant increase in prevalence, year over year.

The SNAP 4Dx Test was recently upgraded to include antibody detection for Ehrlichia ewingii, which is carried by Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick). This additional testing capability has resulted in increased evidence of exposure to ticks and the organisms they carry.

“We know that the lone star tick is an aggressive and indiscriminate feeder. And according to the CDC, it has spread its geographic distribution east and northeast from the south central part of the U.S. So, seeing increased prevalence of tick disease is not surprising to us,” said John Stamaris, Senior Marketing Programs Manager, IDEXX Laboratories. “However, what is surprising is the magnitude of the year-over-year change in geographies that are as far east as Greensboro and as far north as Baltimore.”

With just one sample, the SNAP 4Dx Plus Test screens for six pathogens and evidence of four common tick species to improve veterinarians’ ability to protect dogs and their families from vector-borne disease. The SNAP 4Dx Plus Test is the only test available that enables a veterinarian to screen for Ehrlichia ewingii quickly and affordably.

“While many veterinarians in highly endemic areas are familiar with acute E. ewingii infections, we don’t know a lot about this pathogen because testing for it has been limited until now,” said Dr. Melissa Beall, Manager of Medical Affairs, IDEXX Laboratories. “IDEXX is excited to be able to help veterinarians screen for a pathogen and evidence of a tick species that is fast becoming a larger threat to people and pets in more parts of the country. This screening also enables us to continue our work with leading researchers to better understand emerging pathogens.”

For more information about the new SNAP 4Dx Plus Test or the complete line of IDEXX SNAP tests, call 1-800-248-2483, option 4, or go to

About IDEXX Laboratories
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a leader in pet 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, improve staff efficiency and to build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing livestock and poultry diagnostic tests and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX Laboratories employs more than 5,000 people and offers products to customers in over 100 countries.


IDEXX Laboratories
John Stamaris
Senior Marketing Programs Manager