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Evaluation of a Virus Neutralisation Test for Detection of Rift Valley Fever Antibodies in Suid Sera

1
Agricultural Research Council – Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
2
Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag 20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa
3
Department of Agriculture and Animal Health, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa, Private Bag X6, Florida 1710, South Africa
4
Wildlife Health Sciences, National Zoological Park, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA
5
Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
6
Centre for Veterinary Wildlife Studies, Department of Para-clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed4010052
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
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Abstract

Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a vector-borne viral disease of ruminants mainly, and man, characterized by abortions and neonatal deaths in animals and flu-like to more severe symptoms that can result in death in humans. The disease is endemic in Africa, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and outbreaks occur following proliferation of RVF virus (RVFV) infected mosquito vectors. Vertebrate animal maintenance hosts of RVFV, which serve as a source of virus during inter-epidemic periods remain unknown, with wild and domestic suids being largely overlooked. To address this, we evaluated the virus neutralization test (VNT) for RVF antibody detection in suid sera, as a first step in assessing the role of suids in the epidemiology of RVF in Africa. Testing of experimental and field sera from domestic pigs and warthogs with a commercial RVF competitive antibody ELISA, served as a reference standard against which the VNT results were compared. Results indicate that VNT can detect anti-RVFV antibodies within three days post-infection, has an analytical specificity of 100% and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 80% and 97%, respectively. Although labour-intensive and time-consuming, the VNT proved suitable for screening suid sera and plasma for presence of RVFV antibodies in viraemic and recovered animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rift Valley fever; Rift Valley fever virus; inter-epidemic period; domestic pig; ELISA and VNT Rift Valley fever; Rift Valley fever virus; inter-epidemic period; domestic pig; ELISA and VNT
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Lubisi, B.A.; Ndouvhada, P.N.; Neiffer, D.; Penrith, M.-L.; Sibanda, D.-R.; Bastos, A.D. Evaluation of a Virus Neutralisation Test for Detection of Rift Valley Fever Antibodies in Suid Sera. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2019, 4, 52.

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