Specimen: Dry swab (a single conjunctival or oropharyngeal swab can be submitted and used to test for feline calicivirus, herpesvirus and chlamydophila).
Container: Sterile pottle or swab carrier (no transport media)
- Moisten a clean, dry swab well with tears/exudate
- Firmly and vigorously swab both of the conjunctival sacs (a local anaesthetic may be used). As the organism is intracellular, it is important that as much cellular material, in the form of conjunctival exudates, be collected to increase the likelihood of detection.
- Place the swab in a sterile container and keep at 4°C until submission.
Special handling/shipping requirements:
Dry swab samples should be sent in a chiller box with an ice block. Do not place swabs in any transport media as this may affect the sensitivity of the assay. If storing for a period before sending, samples must be stored at 4°C. All samples should be received at the laboratory within 3 days of collection as sensitivity may be impacted by prolonged storage.
General information about the disease:
The PCR test is a sensitive test for detecting the presence of the upper respiratory pathogen Chlamydophila felis. The test is most reliable in cases with clinical disease. Patients receiving antibiotic treatment for Chlamydophila can be expected to have negative test results after 2-3 days of treatment. Recent vaccination should have no effect on the results of the PCR test.
General information about when this test is indicated: Diagnosis of Chlamydophila felis, infection in cats.
Comparison with other related tests: Cell culture with Giemsa staining or antigen detection can be used but are of limited availability in New Zealand.