Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2010
Publication Date: 11/10/2010
Citation: Wilson, W.C., Weingartl, H., Jiang, J., Neufeld, J., Dalman, B., Marszal, P., Bennett, K., Miller, M. 2010. Current Status on the Development of Operator Safe Diagnostic Tools for Rift Valley Fever. Meeting Abstract. 53;56. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a disease of animals and humans that occurs in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It is caused by a Phlebovirus in the family Bunyaviridae. Mosquito-borne epidemics occur during years of unusually heavy rainfall. Domestic cattle, sheep and goats are highly susceptible to infection, which can result in high mortality in young animals and increased abortion in adults. Unapparent infections are quite common in wild ruminants. Infection in humans causes influenza-like symptoms, but can lead to severe complications, including retinopathy, blindness and even death. An international team has been working to develop diagnostic tools that do not pose a health risk to the operator that can be used for the early detection of an introduction of RVF into North America. One of these diagnostic tools is a multiplex real-time RT-PCR that detects all three segments of RVF viral RNA and can distinguish between wild-type and some candidate attenuated vaccine strains. This assay was field tested at the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute and Kenya Department of Veterinary Services. The assay performed well, did not cross-react with Nairobi sheep disease virus and was advantageous over existing assays. Immunological assays based on expressed Gn, N and NSs have also been developed and laboratory evaluated. These interactions along with the assistance of USDA, APHIS will allow the development of internationally harmonized diagnostic tools for RVF.