International interlaboratory trials on rabies diagnosis: an overview of results and variation in reference diagnosis techniques (fluorescent antibody test, rabies tissue culture infection test, mouse inoculation test) and molecular biology techniques.
ABSTRACT Interlaboratory trials on rabies diagnosis were organised in 2009 and in 2010 by the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for rabies. In 2009, two panels of virus samples were sent to participating laboratories to compare results on reference diagnosis techniques and on RT-PCR. A single panel was sent in 2010 to test FAT (fluorescent antibody test), RTCIT (rabies tissue culture infection test) and RT-PCR techniques. The virus panels included the RABV, EBLV-1, EBLV-2 and ABLV strains. Results revealed that laboratories produced the highest proportion of concordant results using RT-PCR (90.5%) and FAT (87.1%), followed by RTCIT (70.0%) and MIT (35.0%) in 2009 and in FAT (85.0%) and RT-PCR (80.6%) followed by RTCIT (77.3%) in 2010. Errors were only observed in bat strains (i.e. none in the RABV strain) for the RT-PCR or FAT techniques, highlighting the need to improve diagnosis most specifically in such strains. RT-PCR was the technique showing the lowest rate of false negative results in either trial year, while RTCIT and MIT (performed in 2009 only) were the techniques with the lowest proportion of false positive results. Nevertheless, the FAT technique represented a good compromise with both satisfactory sensitivity and specificity, as only a few false positive (1.6% in 2009, 5.8% in 2010) and false negative results (1.6% in both 2009 and 2010) were detected. The analysis of technical questionnaires describing the protocols used by participating laboratories revealed variation in the methods used that may induce inconsistencies in the results. In this study, the number of readers for FAT slide examination was identified as a factor affecting significantly the results of laboratories, suggesting that two independent readers are necessary for routine rabies diagnosis. Our findings highlight the need for all rabies diagnostic laboratories to improve harmonisation of procedures.
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ABSTRACT: Twelve national reference laboratories (NRLs) for rabies have undertaken a comparative assay to assess the comparison of fluorescent antibody test (FAT) results using five coded commercial anti-rabies conjugates (Biorad, Bioveta, Fujirebio, Millipore, and SIFIN conjugates). Homogenized positive brain tissues infected with various lyssavirus species as well as negative samples were analyzed blindly using a standardized FAT procedure. Conjugates B, C, D, and E were found to be significantly more effective than conjugate A for GS7 (French RABV) diluted samples (1/8 and 1/100) while the frequency of concordant results of conjugates C and D differ significantly from conjugates A, B and E for CVS 27. For detection of EBLV-1 strains, conjugates C and D also presented a significantly lower frequency of discordant results compared to conjugates A, B and E. Conjugates B, C and D were found to be significantly more effective than conjugates E and A for EBLV-2 and ABLV samples. In view of these results, conjugates C and D set themselves apart from the others and appeared as the most effective of this 5-panel conjugates. This study clearly demonstrates that the variability of conjugates used by National Reference Laboratories can potentially lead to discordant results and influence assay sensitivity. In case of false negative results this could have a dramatic impact if the animal under investigation is responsible for human exposure. To avoid such situations, confirmatory tests should be implemented.Journal of virological methods 04/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The ecology of infectious disease in wildlife has become a pivotal theme in animal and public health. Studies of infectious disease ecology rely on robust surveillance of pathogens in reservoir hosts, often based on serology, which is the detection of specific antibodies in the blood and is used to infer infection history. However, serological data can be inaccurate for inference to infection history for a variety of reasons. Two major aspects in any serological test can substantially impact results and interpretation of antibody prevalence data: cross-reactivity and cut-off thresholds used to discriminate positive and negative reactions. Given the ubiquitous use of serology as a tool for surveillance and epidemiological modeling of wildlife diseases, it is imperative to consider the strengths and limitations of serological test methodologies and interpretation of results, particularly when using data that may affect management and policy for the prevention and control of infectious diseases in wildlife. Greater consideration of population age structure and cohort representation, serological test suitability and standardized sample collection protocols can ensure that reliable data are obtained for downstream modeling applications to characterize, and evaluate interventions for, wildlife disease systems.EcoHealth 08/2013; · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A generic two-step lyssavirus real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), based on a nested PCR strategy, was validated for the detection of different lyssavirus species. Primers with 17 to 30% of degenerate bases were used in both consecutive steps. The assay could accurately detect RABV, LBV, MOKV, DUVV, EBLV-1, EBLV-2, and ABLV. In silico sequence alignment showed a functional match with the remaining lyssavirus species. The diagnostic specificity was 100% and the sensitivity proved to be superior to that of the fluorescent antigen test. The limit of detection was ≤1 50% tissue culture infectious dose. The related vesicular stomatitis virus was not recognized, confirming the selectivity for lyssaviruses. The assay was applied to follow the evolution of rabies virus infection in the brain of mice from 0 to 10 days after intranasal inoculation. The obtained RNA curve corresponded well with the curves obtained by a one-step monospecific RABV-qRT-PCR, the fluorescent antigen test, and virus titration. Despite the presence of degenerate bases, the assay proved to be highly sensitive, specific, and reproducible.BioMed research international. 01/2014; 2014:256175.