Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease is a highly contagious and usually fatal viral infection of the European rabbit caused by Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV). Epidemics of RHDV, also called Rabbit Calicivirus Disease, were first reported in China in 1984. It then spread across Europe and Asia, apparently through shipments of contaminated rabbit meat and infected live animals. The mode of transmission of the virus is not totally clear. In the wild, fleas and other biting insects are an important factor in the spread of the virus within colonies. In the case of domestic rabbits transmission can occur via contaminated cages, feeders and clothing. The virus can be carried for short distances in moist air.
Until recently it was believed that RHDV was a highly virulent and homogenous virus with only minor genetic changes throughout Europe and Asia. Recently it appears that there is at least one genetic variant that does not kill rabbits and animals that become infected with this strain are subsequently immune to the virulent virus.
Domestic or laboratory rabbits will not have been exposed to any strain of the virus and consequently the presence of any virus-specific antibodies are diagnostic for the infection.
The Kalon RHDV ELISA kit
This RHD virus is classified as a Calicivirus based on its characteristic morphology, its positive stranded RNA genome and especially by the presence of a single structural polypeptide of 60kD (VP60).
The Kalon Biological RHDV ELISA kit employs a recombinant VP60 protein expressed in baculovirus which is used to coat microtitre plates. The Kalon kit contains plates of 12 x 8 well strips with sufficient reagents to be used for twelve separate assays. Anti rabbit IgG conjugated to HRP is used as the tracer.
Click here to see PDF file of Kit Insert.