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1 May 2011 Wicking Assay for the Rapid Detection of Rift Valley Fever Viral Antigens in Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)
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Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes outbreaks of severe disease in domestic ungulates as well as humans in Africa. There is a logical concern that RVFV could be introduced into the Americas and cause significant health and economic damage based on the precedent of the introduction and spread of West Nile virus (WNV). Unfortunately, there are currently no licensed diagnostic assays available for RVFV in the Americas. In this work, we report on the ability of a novel dipstick assay, VectorTest RVFV antigen assay, modeled on the VecTest assay for WNV, to detect a RVFV-infected female within a pool of mosquitoes. The dipsticks provided results in <20 min, were easy to use, and did not require a laboratory with containment facilities. Although readily able to detect a mosquito with a disseminated RVFV infection, it only occasionally detected RVFV in a mosquito with a nondisseminated infection, and therefore may fail to detect some pools that actually contain one or more positive mosquitoes. The RVFV dipstick assay was highly specific and did not react with samples to which had been added yellow fever, West Nile, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, sandfly fever Naples, sandfly fever Sicilian, or sandfly fever Toscana viruses. The RVFV assay can provide a rapid, safe, easy-to-use assay to alert public health personnel to the presence of RVFV in mosquitoes. Results from this assay will allow a rapid threat assessment and the focusing of vector control measures in high-risk areas.

M. Turell, K. Davé, M. Mayda, Z. Parker, R. Coleman, S. Davé, and D. Strickman "Wicking Assay for the Rapid Detection of Rift Valley Fever Viral Antigens in Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 48(3), 628-633, (1 May 2011).
Received: 12 October 2010; Accepted: 1 January 2011; Published: 1 May 2011

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