Evaluation of an Immunochromatographic Assay as a Canine Rabies Surveillance Tool in Goa, India

Gowri Yale, Andrew D Gibson, Reeta S Mani, Harsha P K, Niceta Cunha Costa, Julie Corfmat, Ilona Otter, Nigel Otter, Ian G Handel, Barend Mark Bronsvoort, Richard J Mellanby, Santosh Desai, Vilas Naik, Luke Gamble, Stella Mazeri

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Rabies is a fatal zoonotic disease transmitted by the bite of a rabid animal. More than 95% of the human rabies cases in India are attributed to exposure to rabid dogs. This study evaluated the utility of a lateral flow immunochromatographic assay (LFA) (Anigen Rapid Rabies Ag Test Kit, Bionote, Hwaseong-si, Korea) for rapid post mortem diagnosis of rabies in dogs. Brain tissue was collected from 202 animals that were screened through the Government of Goa rabies surveillance system. The brain tissue samples were obtained from 188 dogs, nine cats, three bovines, one jackal and one monkey. In addition, 10 dogs that died due to trauma from road accidents were included as negative controls for the study. The diagnostic performance of LFA was evaluated using results from direct fluorescence antibody test (dFT); the current gold standard post mortem test for rabies infection. Three samples were removed from the analysis as they were autolysed and not fit for testing by dFT. Of the 209 samples tested, 117 tested positive by LFA and 92 tested negative, while 121 tested positive by dFT and 88 tested negative. Estimates of LFA sensitivity and specificity were 0.96 (95% CI 0.91-0.99) and 0.99 (95% CI 0.94-1.00), respectively. The LFA is a simple and low-cost assay that aids in the rapid diagnosis of rabies in the field without the need for expensive laboratory equipment or technical expertise. This study found that Bionote LFA has potential as a screening tool in rabies endemic countries.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • rabies
  • rapid
  • canine
  • diagnosis
  • post-mortem
  • lateral flow
  • testing
  • surveillance


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