Etiology:  Rat theilovirus is a member of the picornaviridae family.  It is a non-enveloped, single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus.

Incidence:  Incidence of infection is moderate.

Transmission: Virus is spread horizontally by contact with feces and urine (dirty bedding).  Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats appear to be more susceptible to the virus compared with CD rats to oral infection with RTV in experimental infection [1].

Clinical Signs:  Most infected rats do not express clinical signs of disease.

Pathology: Most infected rats have no gross or histologic lesions.

Diagnosis:  Serologic detection can be used using MFI or IFA.  PCR can also be used to identify virus in feces.

1.            Drake, M.T., L.K. Riley, and R.S. Livingston, Differential susceptibility of SD and CD rats to a novel rat theilovirus. Comp Med, 2008. 58(5): p. 458-64.