Effects of temperature and time in transit on polymerase chain reaction detection of feline herpesvirus DNA

Heather E. Clarke, Helen Kado-Fong, David J Maggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to report methods currently recommended by commercial laboratories for collecting, shipping, and processing of samples for feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) testing using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and to determine the effect of temperature and time on the ability of 1 PCR method to detect FHV-1 DNA in experimental and clinical samples. Eleven laboratories offering FHV-1 PCR were surveyed. There was notable variation in sample types and shipping conditions recommended and PCR protocols used by these laboratories. Subsequently, using a single PCR method, FHV-1 DNA was detected in samples exposed to various temperatures within the laboratory. Finally, FHV-1 PCR was performed on paired clinical samples collected from 25 cats and shipped at ambient temperatures via US Postal Service (USPS) or with an ice pack via a courier. Samples sent by USPS were exposed to significantly longer transit time and arrived at significantly higher temperature than did samples sent by courier. Despite this, all sample pairs yielded concordant results when tested for FHV-1 DNA using this PCR method. Although it may not be necessary for samples collected for detection of FHV-1 DNA using this PCR method to be shipped under the most expedient or temperature-controlled conditions, this should be verified for a variety of PCR assays and sample types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-391
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • DNA
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • PCR
  • Sample quality
  • Shipping temperature
  • Transit time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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