Coggins Test

Coggins Test - Equine Infectious Anemia is a viral disease of horses that is transmitted by biting insects.  Some horses infected with the EIA virus may show no clinical signs and become "carriers" of the virus.  Others may die from the disease.  Clinical signs include anemia, fever, weight loss, depression, yellowness or bleeding from the mucus membranes, and swelling of the limbs.  There is no vaccine and there is no effective treatment.  In 1970 Dr. Leroy Coggins developed a serum antibody test to diagnose EIA that became known as the "Coggins Test."  A Coggins test should be performed annually and is required for horse shows, racing, sales, and for traveling across state lines.  There are two types of EIA tests now available.  The original Coggins Test is an Agar gel immunodiffusion assay (AGID) and takes 24 hours to perform.  The ELISA test can be completed within 4 hours.  While the ELISA test is convenient, it does not meet the requirements of some regulatory agencies.  Positive tests must be reported to the State Veterinarian and will lead to quarantine of the horse and property.