Information of the FLI on the current RHD Situation
In addition to acting as National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for notifiable and reportable animal diseases, the FLI also has been designated as Consiliary Laboratory for Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) in mid-2017. RHDV is the causative agent of a usually fatal virus disease of rabbits, also known as rabbit calicivirus disease. RHDV is neither notifiable nor reportable, but plays an important role in animal health in farmed, domestic and wild rabbits.
Consiliary laboratories for animal, zoonotic or food-borne pathogens which are neither notifiable, reportable, nor subject to mandatory investigation can be designated by the German Veterinary Medical Society (DVG) with the aim to ensure independent external quality control of diagnostics. This includes ring trials as well as provision of reference materials, confirmatory tests and consiliary expertise. To be designated as consiliary laboratory, the laboratory must have the appropriate expertise and reputation in the diagnosis of the respective pathogen. In the frame of its tasks as National Reference Laboratory, the FLI conducts confirmatory tests at the request of other diagnostic agencies and scientific institutions.
Routine investigations for RHDV are carried out by regional or commercial diagnostic laboratories. The FLI cannot provide general investigations on the cause of disease or death of rabbits. Animal holders affected from RHVD should consult their responsible veterinary diagnostic agency. Information on the responsible agency can be obtained on the internet or from your veterinarian.