The detection of rinderpest virus RNA extracted from a rapid chromatographic strip-test by RT-PCR

The Global Rinderpest Eradication Program (GREP) aimed to eradicate rinderpest by 2010 and it is widely believed to have been successful. An integral part of the program was the submission of samples from suspect rinderpest positive animals to a local Reference Laboratory for final confirmation. Confirmation of rinderpest in field samples is often hampered because of poor quality of the sample upon receipt. As part of GREP a rapid diagnostic strip test for the detection of rinderpest virus (RPV) in the field was developed allowing a rapid response to suspect outbreaks. The feasibility of extracting viral RNA from the used rapid diagnostic rinderpest devices for final confirmation in the laboratory is described. Viral material contained within used rinderpest devices was stable enough after storage for one week at 21 degrees C to extract RNA from five different RPV strains and amplify it by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Temperature did not affect adversely the extraction and amplification of the viral RNA but humidity impaired RNA extraction and amplification. Used rinderpest devices from field diagnosed rinderpest-positive animals could represent an ideal additional sample for submission to the Reference Laboratories for confirmation of preliminary diagnosis in the field.

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