Koi HerpesvirusKoi Herpesvirus (KHV)

While we are committed to providing the highest quality laboratory testing, during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, our operational status will be re-evaluated daily based on available staffing.  We expect that turnaround times for all tests will be greatly affected, though we are unable to estimate exact turnaround times. This includes EPM testing, KHV testing, equine blood type & antibody screens, pNF-H, and OFA thyroid testing.

Due to campus mail delivery delays, please do not ship using USPS - ship via FedEx or UPS only.

We will continue to update our website as information becomes available. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding during these uncertain times. For the latest updates on coronavirus, please see the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine’s Coronavirus Resources Website.

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) is a viral disease that is highly contagious amongst common carp, including ornamental koi. Also known as carp interstitial nephritis gill necrosis virus, this KHV can be widespread amongst pond/farm populations and have high mortality rates, with deaths starting within 24-48 hours after initial onset of clinical signs. First detected in the United States in 1998, it has now been identified in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. KHV outbreaks typically occur in spring and autumn, when water temperatures are 60-77°F (16-25°C), though outbreaks have been reported at temperatures as low as 60°F (15.5-16°C) and as high as 82°F (28°C).

KHV testing methods include both PCR and serology; ELISA/serology testing has a number of advantages over PCR testing. Herpesvirus can cause a broad latent state in which no viral particles will be detected via PCR, though the animal may still have high antibody loads and thus be serology positive. Sample collection for serology testing is non-lethal and can detect antibody reactivity long after the virus itself is cleared, allowing for broad pond/farm surveillance.

KHV ELISA/Serology sample submission form (fillable pdf)


Pricing effective for samples received by the lab July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.

  • Koi Herpes Virus ELISA/serology
    • 1-4 samples - $55/sample*
    • 5-19 samples - $45/sample*
    • 20+ samples - $36/sample*
  • Koi Herpes Virus ELISA/serology interpretation - $51/batch of samples*
  • * Prices subject to change without notice. Updated 6/30/2020

Sample requirements: Serum in a red top tube (no anticoagulants).

Sample processing: Spin whole blood and collect serum in a new, clean tube (no anticoagulants). Serum separator tubes are not recommended. A handling fee will be assessed for unprocessed or improperly processed blood samples.

Shipping: Ship on a cold pack for overnight delivery, Monday - Thursday only, to the address below. Do not use USPS. Our labs offer a FedEx Reduced Price Shipping Program, available to all veterinarians and veterinary clinics, for overnight express delivery to our labs.

Central Laboratory Receiving, Rm 1033
1 Garrod Drive
Davis, CA  95616

Turnaround time (TAT): Turnaround time is now only 5 business days.

Results will be emailed only to the aquatic veterinarian listed on the submission form.

Biological samples submitted to the VMTH Clinical Diagnostic Laboratories may be used for VMTH teaching and research purposes consistent with the mission of the University.


*An Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for Detection of Antibodies to the Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) in the Serum of Koi Cyprinus carpio. Mark A. Adikson, Oren Gilad and Ronal P. Hedrick. Fish Pathology, 40(2), 53-62, 2005.

Detection of Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) in Cyprinius carpio (Koi) Stocks using Enyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Azila, A et al. Pertanika J. Trop. Agric. Sci. 35(1): 21-25 (2012).

*A Herpesvirus Associated with Mass Mortality of Juvenile and Adult Koi, a Strani of Common Carp. Hedrick, R P., O. Gilad, S. Yun, J.V. Spangenberg, G.D. Marty, R.W. Nordhausen, M.J. Kebus, H. Bercovier, and A. Eldar. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, 12:44-57, 2000.

*Essential veterinary education in fish health and disease: a global perspective. Weber ES 3rd, Blanc G, Hedrick RP. Rev Sci Tech. 2009 Aug;28(2):551-8.

*Antibody response of two populations of common carp, Cyprinus carpio L., exposed to koi herpesvirus. St-Hilaire S, Beevers N, Joiner C, Hedrick RP, Way K. J Fish Dis. 2009 Apr;32(4):311-20.

Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) Disease. Katleen H. Hartman, Roy P.E. Yanong, Deborah B. Pouder, Denisse Petty, Ruth Francis-Floyd and Allen C. Riggs. University of Florida IFAS Extension VM-149

*UC Davis authored publication