wildlife and zoo assay data sheet
Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of rabies virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction
virus, a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA virus, is a member
of the Rhabdoviridae family. This family includes at least three
genera of animal viruses, Lyssavirus, Ephemerovirus, and
Vesiculovirus. The genus Lyssavirus includes rabies virus, Lagos
bat virus, Mokola virus, Duvenhage virus, European bat virus 1 &
2 and Australian bat virus.
can cause fatal acute encephalitis in all mammalian hosts,
including humans, dogs, cats, ferrets, pigs, livestock and many
other species. However, only a few species are important as
reservoirs for the disease. In the United States, several
distinct rabies virus variants have been identified in raccoons,
skunks, foxes, coyotes and several species of insectivorous
of rabies virus usually begins when an uninfected animal
contacts the saliva of an infected host animal. Various routes
of transmission have been documented, including contamination of
mucous membranes (ie eyes, nose, and mouth) and even aerosol
transmission. However, the most common mode of rabies virus
transmission is a bite from an infected host animal.
symptoms of rabies infection in animals include lethargy, fever,
vomiting, and anorexia. Signs progress within days to cerebral
dysfunction, ataxia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty
breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal
behavior, aggression, and/or self-mutilation.
testing has been used to diagnose rabies virus exposure in
animals. Direct fluorescent antibody testing is most frequently
used to diagnose rabies. This test requires brain tissue from
the animal suspected of being rabid. The test can only be
performed post-mortem and is not suitable for testing live
animals that may have contacted the virus. However, since
animals may have had prior exposure to the virus, serology
testing may not be specific in confirming the current presence
of the virus. An extensive and time-consuming serology titering
study may be required to prove the animal’s recent exposure.
detection by PCR is a rapid, sensitive and specific method to
identify the presence of the rabies virus in a sample. The PCR
test can be performed on saliva, spinal fluid or a bite lesion
swab or biopsy.
See the US
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rabies website at http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/
for additional information on the diagnosis of rabies.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify rabies carriers
Help ensure that animal groups and populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/ (Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention’s rabies information website)
Buccal swab, or 0.2 ml CSF, or 0.2 ml fresh or frozen brain stem
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See shipping
instructions for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR