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Virusdisease. 2014 Jan;25(1):120-4. doi: 10.1007/s13337-013-0184-6. Epub 2013 Nov 30.

Diagnostic evaluation of RT-PCR-ELISA for the detection of rabies virus.

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Rabies Laboratory, Department of Animal Biotechnology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, 600007 India ; National Institute for Animal Biotechnology, 1-121/1, 4th Floor, Axis Clinicals Building, Miyapur, Hyderabad, 500049 India.
Rabies Laboratory, Department of Animal Biotechnology, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, 600007 India.


Rabies is primarily a disease of terrestrial and airborne mammals. In most cases, rabies is diagnosed primarily on the basis of clinical symptoms and signs, and a corroborative history of or evidence of an animal bite, death of an animal and incomplete or no vaccination following exposure. The facility for laboratory diagnosis and confirmation of rabies is available in only a few institutions in India. Diagnostic tests using conventional assays like fluorescent antibody test (FAT) are unreliable at times, despite the clinical diagnosis. Currently, there are a number of molecular tests that can be used to complement conventional tests in rabies diagnosis. We have developed and evaluated an RT-PCR-ELISA using a panel of brain tissue samples from rabies suspected animals of various species. This assay was able to detect rabies virus genome in all the 43 samples that were previously tested positive for rabies. Moreover this assay was shown to be 100 % sensitive and specific in detecting the rabies virus genome in post-mortem brain tissue samples from different species of animals. Our pilot study shows the potential of this assay as an alternative diagnostic test when the samples are unsuitable for use in FAT and also a supplementary test to FAT. In addition, the region of nucleoprotein gene amplified using this assay can be used for the molecular investigation of geographical origin of the field strains.


Diagnosis; FAT; India; RT-PCR; RT-PCR-ELISA; Rabies

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