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Research Project: Rift Valley Fever Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, and Control Measures

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Title: Rift Valley fever viral RNA detection by in situ hybridization in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues

item RAGAN, IZABELLA - Kansas State University
item BRADSHAW, KAITLYNN - Kansas State University
item UPRETI, DEEPA - Kansas State University
item ODENDAAL, LIEZA - University Of Pretoria
item RICHT, JUERGEN - Kansas State University
item TRUJILLO, JESSICA - Kansas State University
item Wilson, William
item DAVIS, ANNE - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2018
Publication Date: 7/10/2019
Citation: Ragan, I., Bradshaw, K., Upreti, D., Odendaal, L., Richt, J., Trujillo, J.D., Wilson, W.C., Davis, A.S. 2019. Rift Valley fever viral RNA detection by in situ hybridization in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 19(7):553-556.

Interpretive Summary: Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) is a virus that infects humans and ruminants including cattle, sheep, goats, camels and buffalo. In this study we develope and evaluate a method to detect viral genome from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues. This reduces the human risk by using an inactivated, non-infectious sample for detection. The assay was found to be safe and sensitive.

Technical Abstract: Sporadic outbreaks of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), a zoonotic, mosquito-borne Phlebovirus, cause abortion storms and death in sheep and cattle resulting in catastrophic economic impacts in endemic regions of Africa. More recently, with changes in competent vector distribution, growing international trade, and potential use for bioterrorism, RVFV has become a transboundary animal disease of significant concern. New and sensitive techniques that determine RVFV presence, while lessening the potential for environmental contamination and human risk, through the use of inactivated, non-infectious samples such as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues are needed. FFPE tissue in situ hybridization (ISH) enables the detection of nucleic acid sequences within the visual context of cellular and tissue morphology. Here we present a chromogenic pan-RVFV ISH assay based on RNAscope' technology that is able to detect multiple RVFV strains in FFPE tissues, enabling visual correlation of RVFV RNA presence with histopathologic lesions.