Efficacy of a Direct Rapid Immunohistochemical Test (DRIT) For Rabies Detection in Nigeria
Rabies is an acute, infectious disease mostly transmitted through bites from an infected animal. Dogs majorly transmit rabies to humans. Human rabies is not curable once clinical signs commence, but can be prevented. The aim of this study was to find an appropriate diagnostic test suitable for use in Nigeria and other developing countries with infrastructural challenges. Thirty dog brain samples collected from dog markets in Kaduna State were analysed using four tests direct fluorescent antibody test (DFA), mouse inoculation test (MIT), Seller’s staining test, the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR) and the direct rapid immunohistochemistry test (dRIT). A total of 15 (50%) of the samples tested positive using DFA, dRIT, RT-PCR and MIT, while the remaining 15 (50%) were negative. The results obtained using these four different tests showed concordance between those that were positive and negative. There was no statistical difference (P > 0.05) among the four tests. An appropriate diagnostic test must be prompt, cheap, sensitive, field-based and reliable. The direct rapid immunohistochemistry test is a new diagnostic test established by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. It does not require sophisticated equipment so it can be used on the field especially in the rural areas where most of the rabies exposures occur. It is also as sensitive as the DFA and the result can be obtained within an hour. In Nigeria and most developing countries, prompt diagnosis play a major role in the prevention and control of rabies.
Key words: rabies diagnosis, direct rapid immunohistochemistry test, mouse inoculation test, RT-PCR