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RVHD Found In Canadian Pet Rabbit (Exact Location Unknown)

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  • Pamela Alley
    Request For Further Information Underway: If you have any more information on this incident, PLEASE contact me immediately at RIC@rabbitindustrycouncil.com or
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2011
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      Request For Further Information Underway: If you have any more information
      on this incident, PLEASE contact me immediately at
      RIC@... or ric@... .

      Pamela Alley
      Director, Rabbit Industry Council

      RHD detected in Canadian pet rabbit
      Posted: May 13, 2011, 4:30 p.m., EDT

      Canada�s National Center for Foreign Animal Diseases (NCFAD) has reported
      positive results for rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) virus by conventional
      RT-PCR and the finding of a Calicivirus-like agent by electron microscopy.

      On March 30 a domestic neutered male rabbit presented at a local veterinary
      clinic with lethargy and a yellow matter was observed on its fur. It was
      diagnosed with liver failure and died during treatment. The body was
      forwarded to the Manitoba Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural
      Initiatives (MAFRI) laboratory.
      Findings included jaundice, hepatic necrosis, some hemorrhages, moderate
      meningoencephalitis and mild nephritis. A liver sample was sent to the
      Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and NCFADto rule out RHD virus.

      The positive sample�s nucleotide sequence had the closest match in Genbank
      with an RHD virus isolate from China from 2006. On April 20 and 21,
      histopathology confirmed lesions consistent with RHD and positive staining
      for RHD virus antigens was shown by immunohistochemistry.

      Three test rabbits were inoculated with material from the MAFRI submission
      on April 26. All inoculated rabbits were strongly positive for RHD virus by
      conventional RT-PCR. Histopathology on tissue from the inoculated rabbits
      showed lesions consistent with RHD.

      Immunohistochemistry on liver, spleen and kidney from inoculated rabbits
      showed positive immunoreactivity for RHD virus and electron microscopy of a
      liver homogenate was positive for Calicivirus-like particles. Sequencing of
      the PCR amplicons from liver material from the three inoculated rabbits were
      100 percent identical with one another as well as the original amplicon from
      the submitted pet rabbit.

      The infected pet was kept in an apartment with two other pet rabbits for
      more than a year before becoming ill. None of the pet rabbits had contact
      with commercial or wild rabbits.

      After confirmation of the diagnosis on the index case, the two other pet
      rabbits were inspected and tested by the CFIA with negative results (RT-PCR
      on blood and cELISA for antibodies) which were released on May 6. Presently,
      these two pet rabbits remain clinically healthy. The apartment owners
      cleaned and disinfected the cage and the contact areas of the infected

      CFIA considers this event in a non-commercial rabbit as resolved

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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