Evaluation of polyclonal anti-RNP IgG antibody for rabies diagnosis by indirect rapid immunohistochemistry test

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Rabies still represents a major public health threat and estimated to cause 60,000 human deaths annually, particularly in developing countries. Thus, adequate surveillance based on rapid and reliable rabies diagnosis for both humans and animals is essential. The WHO and OIE recommended gold standard diagnostic technique for rabies is the direct immunofluorescence assay (dFAT). However, dFAT is expensive and requires a high level of expertise. As an alternative, the rapid immunohistochemistry technique is a promise to be a simple and cost effective diagnostic tool for rabies, and can be performed on field conditions prevalent in developing countries. However, no validated commercial conjugate antibody for rabies is available to meet the laboratory demand. Here, we evaluated the polyclonal anti-rabies virus ribonucleoprotein (RNP) IgG antibody for Rabies lyssavirus (RABV) detection by indirect rapid immunohistochemistry test (iRIT). We tested polyclonal anti-RNP IgG antibody against a batch of 100 brain specimens representing a wide phylogenetic origin in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The purified IgG obtained 100% of diagnostic specificity and sensibility for RABV antigen detection in iRIT compared with the gold standard dFAT. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the polyclonal anti-RNP IgG antibody may be used as a diagnostic reagent for rabies using iRIT, with the expectation of increase in availability and cost reduction of the epidemiological surveillance for developing countries.
Bartaquini RT, Torquato RBC, Fernandes ER, Guedes F, Castro BS, Katz ISS, et al. Evaluation of polyclonal anti-RNP IgG antibody for rabies diagnosis by indirect rapid immunohistochemistry test. Acta Trop.. 2020 Jun;206:105340. doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2020.105340.
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