SK: Rabies testing - alternatives ASRR

Fri Feb 2 08:50:33 PST 2001

Note below that you can use a smear to test for rabies.  If this is so, why 
does the head have to be removed?  Why can't they just take blood?  Even if 
it is taken from the brain, the animal probably won't be affected by losing 
some brain blood, right?

Hasn't (or isn't) anyone been testing this effectiveness?  This could end up 
saving a lot of rabies-suspect animals, especially pet skunks that bite 

P.S.  Now noone get in a snit because I mentioned domestic skunks and 
rabies-suspect in the same sentence.  You KNOW what I mean.  I was just 
referring to how the authorities think, and we do know how most of them 


<<< The most widely used test for rabies diagnosis is the Fluorescent antibody
test (FAT). This test may be used directly on a smear, and can also be used
to confirm the presence of rabies antigen in cell culture or in brain tissue
of mice that have been inoculated for diagnosis. The FAT gives reliable
results on fresh specimens within a few hours in 90-99% of cases. The
sensitivity of the FAT depends on the specimen (the animal species involved
and the degree of autolysis), on the rabies virus (rabies or rabies-related
virus), and on the proficiency of the diagnostic staff. For direct rabies
diagnosis, smears prepared from hippocampus or medulla oblongata are fixed
in high-grade cold acetone and then stained with a drop of specific
conjugate. Anti-rabies fluorescent conju-gates may be prepared in the
laboratory. Those available commercially are either polyclonal conjugates
specific to the entire virus or specific to the rabies nucleoprotein, or
they may be prepared from a mix of different MAbs. In the FAT, the specific
aggregates of nucleocapsid are identified by their fluorescence.

More information about the Skunks mailing list