Every Cat Logo


W15-001: Comparing a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test with fungal culture for ringworm

Ringworm is currently diagnosed by culturing infected hairs and skin scrapings and observing for growth of fungal colonies. If ringworm is confirmed, the animal needs two negative cultures to confirm a cure. Even if the first culture is negative, the cat needs to be held back from adoption for 2 or 3 weeks while waiting for the result. IDEXX Laboratories® has recently developed a rapid test for ringworm that identifies ringworm DNA in hair samples and skin scrapings. The PCR test results are available within 3 business days thus cats could potentially be confirmed ringworm-free, or cured, a full 11-18 days sooner. The goal of this study is to compare the IDEXX Laboratories® PCR test with fungal culture in an animal shelter, to see if the PCR test could replace fungal culture for early diagnosis of ringworm and for showing that the animal has been cured after treatment. This could save the lives of many shelter cats.

Grant ID: W15-001

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2015

Amount awarded: $15,375

Investigator: Linda Jacobson, BVScMMedVet, PhD, Lauren McIntyre, RVT, BScH; Toronto Humane Society