IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR Test: Positive cases

Q: Has IDEXX detected a positive in any patients with the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR Test?

A: Yes, in a limited number of cases as described below. Each of these positives has been confirmed by independent testing by the United States Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories (USDA-NVSL). Additional clinical details of these cases are below:

May 22, 2020—A positive SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR result was detected in an eight-year-old male, neutered cat in Illinois.


Clinical History

This cat came from a household in which the owner had tested positive for COVID-19 previously but had completely recovered by the time the cat developed clinical signs. The cat presented to the veterinarian with oral ulcerative lesions, lethargy and a high fever. 

Laboratory results

FeLV antigen and FIV antibody by ELISA tests were negative. A feline coronavirus antibody by IFA was positive at 1:400. A Feline Upper Respiratory RealPCR Panel was negative for all pathogens, including those likely to cause oral ulcerations such as feline calicivirus and feline bartonella. The IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR Test was positive. The result was confirmed internally in triplicate on the IDEXX test and on three United States Centers for Disease Control (US CDC) assays. The isolate was then confirmed positive by PCR and by sequencing at the USDA-NVSL on June 8, 2020.

Visit idexx.com/covid19-pet-test to learn more about the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test and COVID-19 in pets.


May 26, 2020—A positive SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR result was detected in a three-year-old female, spayed Bengal cat in Minnesota.


Clinical History

Both owners of the Bengal cat had been sick and tested positive for COVID-19 in the weeks prior. The owners had fully recovered by the time the cat developed clinical signs. The cat presented to the veterinarian with a two-day history of lethargy and difficulty breathing. On physical exam, this normally fractious cat was very lethargic, with a high fever and harsh lung sounds. The cat did not have a cough or any eye or nasal discharge. Given the history of COVID-19 infection in the household, and because the clinical signs did not fit with those typically seen in cats with more common respiratory pathogens, the veterinarian elected to test for SARS-CoV-2 infection.  

Laboratory results

A Feline Upper Respiratory RealPCR Panel was also performed and was positive only for Mycoplasma felis. The IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 RealPCR test was positive with a moderate viral load. The result was confirmed internally in triplicate on the IDEXX test and on three US-CDC assays. The results were then further confirmed by PCR and by sequencing at USDA-NVSL.

View the OIE report for this case here.

Visit idexx.com/covid19-pet-test to learn more about the IDEXX SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) RealPCR Test and COVID-19 in pets.

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