IPC’s Virology Unit has been involved in the diagnosis of rabies infections using fluorescein antibody-conjugated specific for rabies virus nucleoprotein since 1998. This test is routinely performed on suspected animals’ fresh Ammon’s horn or brain samples. When this first-line diagnostic test is negative two complementary analyses are set-up: (i) intra-cerebral inoculation to suckling mice of brain homogenate suspected of rabies infection. Suckling mice monitoring is performed during 21 days, and a mouse is sacrificed every two days from 5th day post-inoculation; an immunofluorescent diagnosis is then performed on sacrificed mice’s brain. (ii) nested RT-PCR can also be used for brains in advanced state of putrefaction.
During 2015, 184 brain samples were collected by the Virology Unit from dogs, and one from a cat. 95 dog brain samples were found to be infected by rabies virus (51%). We still observed a positivity rate of over 50%. The annual percentage of positive dog heads since 2002 is presented below (Fig. 6).
Rabies Prevention Centre & Epidemiology Unit from IPC
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* To read the Public Health activity report of the Virology Unit of the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, please click here.