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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: COUNTERMEASURES TO CONTROL AND ERADICATE RIFT VALLEY FEVER (RFV) Title: Immunohistochemical Detection of Rift Valley Fever Virus with Non-Infectious, Recombinant Viral Protein Antibodies

Authors
item Drolet, Barbara
item Wu, Shixuan
item Miller, Myrna

Submitted to: American Society for Virology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2009
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Citation: Drolet, B.S., Wu, S., Miller, M.M. 2009. Immunohistochemical Detection of Rift Valley Fever Virus with Non-Infectious, Recombinant Viral Protein Antibodies. Annual Meeting of the American Society for Virology, Vancouver, BC. July 11-15. Paper No. 14-8.

Interpretive Summary: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes re-emerging disease outbreaks and abortion storms in mature cattle, sheep, and goats, and can cause 100% mortality in young animals. The spread of this exotic, insect transmitted virus is of particular concern because of its widely recognized potential for being used as a bioterrorism agent and/or being accidentally introduced into North America. Currently, national and regional Biosafety Level (BSL)-2 diagnostic laboratories lack user-safe, modern, validated diagnostic tests to detect RVFV antigen or antibody, should an accidental or intentional introduction occur. Due to the fact that most suspected RVF cases are either antigen or antibody positive, but very few are simultaneously both, reliable detection requires a combination of tests that can detect RVFV antigen in tissue samples as well as anti-RVFV antibodies in the sera during the acute stage of the disease. Although diagnostic reagents and tests exist in endemic countries, in the U.S. their use is limited to BSL-3 laboratories because the reagents are potentially contaminated with live RVFV. Non-infectious, recombinant RVFV nucleocapsid gene constructs were used to produce immunological reagents for a user-safe, BSL-2 immunohistochemical assay that can be distributed to laboratories throughout the U.S. for detection of RVFV antigen in mammalian host and insect vector tissues.

Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes re-emerging disease outbreaks and abortion storms in mature cattle, sheep, and goats, and can cause 100% mortality in young animals. The spread of this exotic, insect transmitted virus is of particular concern because of its widely recognized potential for being used as a bioterrorism agent and/or being accidentally introduced into North America. Currently, national and regional Biosafety Level (BSL)-2 diagnostic laboratories lack user-safe, modern, validated diagnostic tests to detect RVFV antigen or antibody, should an accidental or intentional introduction occur. Due to the fact that most suspected RVF cases are either antigen or antibody positive, but very few are simultaneously both, reliable detection requires a combination of tests that can detect RVFV antigen in tissue samples as well as anti-RVFV antibodies in the sera during the acute stage of the disease. Although diagnostic reagents and tests exist in endemic countries, in the U.S. their use is limited to BSL-3 laboratories because the reagents are potentially contaminated with live RVFV. Non-infectious, recombinant RVFV nucleocapsid gene constructs were used to produce immunological reagents for a user-safe, BSL-2 immunohistochemical assay that can be distributed to laboratories throughout the U.S. for detection of RVFV antigen in mammalian host and insect vector tissues.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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