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Rift Valley fever: antibodies identified to help develop diagnostic tests

VHFMoDRAD have made progress in understanding how different antibodies can be useful for diagnosing and detecting RVF virus in animal and insect tissues

Image by nechaevkon via Shutterstock
Image by nechaevkon via Shutterstock


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a viral disease that can cause mild to severe symptoms. Though it primarily affects animals, it also has the capacity to infect humans, and the disease can range from a mild flu-like illness to severe haemorrhagic fever that can kill. There is a pressing need for diagnostic tests to detect viral haemorrhagic fevers including RVF, Ebola, Marburg and yellow and dengue fevers These diseases have many symptoms in common, a fact that makes it very hard to make a rapid diagnosis, something essential in an outbreak situation.

The VHFMoDRAD project, which was set up to work on the development of better, faster diagnosis of RVF and other viral haemorrhagic fevers caused by viruses, carried out a study where they looked at how different antibodies can be useful for diagnosis and detection of RVFV in tissues from animals or mosquitoes. The authors used several different antibodies, and found that antibodies against nucleoproteins can be a good tools to find infected cells in sheep and mice and antibodies against glycoproteins can be used to find infected tissues in insects. The findings bring us one step closer to the development of effective diagnostic tools. 

About the project

The aim of VHFMoDRAD is to develop rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tools capable of identifying a number of viral haemorrhagic fevers. The project builds on the work of IMI’s EbolaMoDRAD project, which advanced the development of rapid diagnostics for Ebola. The new tools and methods they develop will be validated in the field. In addition, the project plans to run training courses for professionals in the west African region. It will also transfer the production capacity for the diagnostic tools to a project partner in the region so that the tests can be produced locally. Ultimately, VHFMoDRAD will contribute to better preparedness for outbreaks of viral haemorrhagic fevers, and to capacity building in Africa.

Read more

Rift Valley fever virus detection in susceptible hosts with special emphasis in insects

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