CDC: New Rapid Rabies Test Could Revolutionize Testing & Treatment

May 17, 2018 | Kim Rodgers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published an article in PLOS One about a new rabies test that can more easily and precisely diagnose rabies infection in animals suspected of having rabies. With this new test, people exposed to potentially rabid animals may not have to undergo the month-long regimen of shots to make sure they don’t get the deadly disease. The test, called LN34, is simpler, easier to use, and reduces the number of false positive and inconclusive results. Ultimately, it will help doctors and patients make better decisions about who needs treatment for rabies, which is nearly always fatal when not treated correctly.

Rabies kills about 60,000 people annually, mostly in Africa and Asia. The disease can take months to emerge after a person has contact with a rabid animal. Once symptoms appear, rabies is nearly always fatal, so identifying cases and starting treatment early is critical to a patient’s survival. Having a quick, easy-to-run and accurate test to tell if an animal that bit someone is rabid could help doctors decide whether someone needs preventive treatment.

Three Things to Know

  • The LN34 test can be run on PCR, a testing platform already widely used in the U.S. and worldwide, without any extra training. The current gold-standard for rabies testing in animals is the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test, which can only be interpreted by laboratory workers with special skills, extensive training, and a specific type of microscope.
  • CDC believes the new LN34 test could help improve rabies testing, both in the United States and in resource-poor countries. Currently, many countries in Africa and Asia most affected by rabies are not able to easily rule out the disease in animals that have bitten someone.
  • The World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health are considering adding PCR-based tests for primary diagnosis (meaning they could be used as stand-alone tests to confirm rabies, rather than being used with the DFA test). In addition, CDC is working with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to develop rabies testing guidance that could help clinicians and laboratory staff know which tests to run in different scenarios and which tests can be used to confirm rabies, either singly or in combination with other tests.

Read the press release to learn more about this article.


637020799465370000

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers is the Communications Manager at NACCHO.

More posts by Kim Rodgers

0 Comments

Related Posts

Naccho Award
  • Awards & Recognition

NACCHO Announces 2020 Promising Practice Award Winners

This year, 36 local health department programs have been recognized as a...

Jul 16, 2020 | Andrea Grenadier

NACCHO Announces 2020 Promising Practice Award Winners

Virginia MRC Election Day
  • COVID-19
  • Medical Reserve Corps

Combating COVID-19 on Election Day

When Virginians headed to the polls on June 23 they were met by 662 Infection...

Jul 16, 2020 | Beth Hess

Combating COVID-19 on Election Day

Wildfire
  • COVID-19
  • Tools & Resources
  • Climate Change
  • Hazards & Health Effects

Protecting Lung Health During Wildfires

The American Lung Association has developed a new fact sheet in Spanish to...

Jul 15, 2020

Protecting Lung Health During Wildfires

NACCHO color pms321
  • COVID-19

Statement: Newly Announced Order for Hospitals to...

Statement of Organizational Leaders: Newly Announced Order for Hospitals to...

Jul 15, 2020 | Andrea Grenadier

Statement: Newly Announced Order for Hospitals to...

NACCHO color pms321
  • Press Release

Statement: Compromising Data Collection Will Further...

Statement from the National Association of County and City Health Officials,...

Jul 15, 2020 | Andrea Grenadier

Statement: Compromising Data Collection Will Further...

Webinar
  • COVID-19
  • Webinar
  • Emergency Response

Hurricane and Flooding Key Messages Virtual Workshop

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of State and...

Jul 14, 2020 | Beth Hess

Hurricane and Flooding Key Messages Virtual Workshop

Toddlers outside i Stock 485737780
  • Tools & Resources
  • Healthy Living & Prevention
  • Parks

Greener Parks for Health

National Recreation and Park Association releases new Greener Parks for Health...

Jul 13, 2020

Greener Parks for Health

CDC QCS Graphic
  • Tools & Resources
  • Webinar
  • HIV, STI, & Viral Hepatitis

Informational Webinar: STD Quality Clinical Services...

Informational webinar for the STD QCS Planning Toolkit to Support Use of CDC’s...

Jul 13, 2020 | Rebekah Horowitz

Informational Webinar: STD Quality Clinical Services...

IMAAC
  • Tools & Resources
  • Emergency Response

HAZMAT and CBRNE Resource: the Interagency Modeling and...

The Interagency Modeling and Atmospheric Assessment Center (IMAAC) provides a...

Jul 13, 2020 | Beth Hess

HAZMAT and CBRNE Resource: the Interagency Modeling and...

Back to Top