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An inter-laboratory comparison to evaluate the technical performance of rabies diagnosis lateral flow assays

Abstract : As in previous years, the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for rabies organised in 2018 an Inter-laboratory trial (ILT) on rabies diagnosis. Contrarily to past years, the 2018 ILT did not aim to evaluate the performance of participating laboratories, but the technical performance of new rapid tests. Two lateral Flow Assays (LFA), namely the Anigen® and the CDIA™ Rabies Virus Antigen Rapid Test” (commercialized by Bionote and Creative Diagnostics Cie respectively), were evaluated together with the Fluorescent Antibody Test (FAT). One panel of virus samples (including RABV as well as EBLV1a, EBLV-1b, and EBLV2 strains) was sent to participating laboratories to compare results obtained with these different techniques.The study revealed that the FAT provided a good agreement toward expected results for both negative/positive samples (99.1%). The Anigen® test produced similar results to the FAT, with only one false negative result (0.5%) reported by all participants and a concordance of 100% for all but one sample demonstrating a good inter-laboratory reproducibility of the Anigen® batch. The CDIA™ test produced reproducible results for Rabies Virus (RABV) samples only. However, it hardly detected the Bokeloh Bat Lyssavirus (BBLV) and the European Bat Lyssaviruses types 1b and 2 (EBLV-1b and EBLV-2) in most laboratories resulting in a moderate inter-laboratory concordance (58.4%–82.7%) for these lyssaviruses.The two LFAs provided reliable and reproducible results on all RABV samples (100%) but lead to heterogeneous performances with other lyssaviruses leading to different levels of diagnostic/analytical sensitivity, specificity. The study confirmed that LFAs should be used with caution and that their validation are of upmost importance before any use in laboratories.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 25, 2021 - 4:34:39 PM
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Alexandre Servat, Emmanuelle Robardet, Florence Cliquet. An inter-laboratory comparison to evaluate the technical performance of rabies diagnosis lateral flow assays. Journal of Virological Methods, Elsevier, 2019, 272, pp.113702. ⟨10.1016/j.jviromet.2019.113702⟩. ⟨anses-03298491⟩



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