Canine Influenza A Virus

Testing Indications

Contact your local health unit if you suspect canine influenza virus (CIV) infection in a human. Contact the PHO laboratory Customer Service Centre at 1-877-604-4567 prior to submitting specimens. 

Note

Because the canine influenza virus situation in Ontario is evolving, recommendations, including testing guidelines, may change as more is learnt about the epidemiology and genetics of the virus. Please check the electronic version of this and referenced guidance document frequently for updates.

Specimen Collection and Handling

Specimen Requirements

Test Requested Required Requisition(s) Specimen Type Minimum Volume Collection Kit

Canine Influenza A Virus

Nasopharyngeal swab and; throat swab (if the patient is hospitalized)

Swab in media provided in the collection kit

Virus Respiratory Kit order# 390082

Canine Influenza A Virus

Nasopharyngeal aspirate

2.0 mL aspirate in media provided in collection kit

Virus Respiratory Kit order# 390082

Canine Influenza A Virus

Bronchial wash/bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) (if available)

0.5 ml

Sterile container

Canine Influenza A Virus

Lung tissue (if obtained  e.g. biopsy, post-mortem)

0.5 grams

Sterile container

Submission and Collection Notes

1

Specimen types other than nasopharyngeal swabs, nasopharyngeal aspirates, bronchial washes/bronchoalveolar lavage (if available) or throat swabs require approval by a PHO laboratory microbiologist.

2

Complete all fields of the General Test Requisition Form. Details of contact with a dog that has a clinical or laboratory diagnosis of CIV, including dates of symptom onset in the dog, and dates of contact, must be provided to facilitate testing. Relevant patient symptoms, including date of onset, and clinical findings must be provided, e.g. fever, cough, and pneumonia. Also document if the patient is high risk status for respiratory viral infection complications. Patient setting and admission status at time of collection must be provided.  

3

Serology testing is not recommended for influenza diagnosis, including canine influenza, and is not available for clinical testing in Canada.

Preparation Prior to Transport

Place specimen in biohazard bag and seal. Specimens should be stored at 2-8°C following collection. Package and ship primary clinical samples to the local PHO laboratory in accordance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Mark the outer packaging containing specimens, “For canine influenza virus testing. Attn: Molecular Diagnostics”.

Special Instructions

To collect nasopharyngeal specimens, follow the instructions found in the Virus – Respiratory Kit Instruction Sheet.

Test Frequency and Turnaround Time (TAT)

Influenza A testing is performed Monday to Friday. The turnaround time is 1-2 days from specimen receipt at testing site.

Preliminary subtyping will be completed within 2-3 days from specimen receipt at testing site.

When indicated, specimens will be forwarded to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) for further investigation. The turnaround time for rapid respiratory virus culture (R-Mix TOO) is up to 4 days.

STAT and Critical Samples Testing

Testing may be arranged on weekends if approved by a PHO laboratory microbiologist. Contact the PHO laboratory After-hours Emergency Duty Officer at 416-605-3113 for after-hours consultation.

Reporting

Results are reported to the ordering physician or health care provider as indicated on the requisition.

Specimens that are positive for canine influenza are reported to the Medical Officer of Health as per Health Protection and Promotion Act. Status for respiratory viral infection complications. Patient setting and admission status at time of collection must be provided.   

 

Test Methods

Specimens will be tested for Influenza A and B by a CDC in-house Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) assay.

Negative specimens will be tested by rapid respiratory virus culture (R-Mix TOO)

Algorithm

  • Influenza A positive specimens will be tested for the currently circulating seasonal subtypes, H1N1pdm09 and human H3. 
  • Influenza A-positive specimens that do not match any seasonal subtype will be reported as “untypeable” and further evaluated at PHOL by other subtyping PCRs and/or gene sequencing for detection of CIV A(H3N2). They will also be forwarded to the National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Winnipeg, for further investigation, including gene sequencing, to determine the influenza A subtype. 
  • Specimens that are “Not Detected” for influenza on PCR testing will be tested for other respiratory viruses by R-Mix TOO. These specimens may also undergo retesting for influenza at NML. 

Interpretation

CIV – Canine Influenza Virus- A(H3N2) – Detected

CIV – Canine Influenza Virus- A(H3N2) – Not Detected

contact lab

Contact Laboratory Customer Service

Laboratory Services

customerservicecentre@oahpp.ca

Updated 8 April 2019