There is a threat for dengue virus (DENV) reemergence in many regions of the world, particularly in areas where the DENV vectors, Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse), are readily available. However, there are currently no accurate and reliable diagnostic methods to provide critical, real-time information for early detection of DENV within the vector populations to implement appropriate vector control and personal protective measures. In this article, we report the ability of an immuno-chromatographic assay developed by VecTOR Test Systems Inc. to detect DENV in a pool of female Aedes mosquitoes infected with any of the four viral serotypes. The DENV dipstick assay was simple to use, did not require a cold chain, and provided clear results within 30 min. It was highly specific and did not cross-react with samples spiked with West Nile, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, chikungunya, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis, Ross River, LaCrosse, or Caraparu viruses. The DENV assay can provide real-time critical information on the presence of DENV in mosquitoes to public health personnel. Results from this assay will allow a rapid threat assessment and the focusing of vector control measures in high-risk areas.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) causes outbreaks of severe disease in domestic ungulates as well as humans in Africa. There is a concern that outbreaks of Rift Valley fever may continue and that this virus may spread into regions where it had not previously been detected. Surveillance and rapid detection are critical to the initiation of an effective disease control program. Here we report on the field evaluation in Kenya of the VectorTest RVFV antigen assay, modeled on the VecTest assay for West Nile virus. The dipsticks provided results in <20 min, were easy to use, and did not require a laboratory with containment facilities. Although none of the field-collected mosquitoes were infected with RVFV, the dipstick provided a clear positive result with pools of field-collected mosquitoes spiked with a single positive, irradiated (to inactivate any infectious virus) mosquito. Similarly, the dipstick was able to detect virus from pools of mosquitoes captured during the RVFV outbreak in 2007. The RVFV dipstick assay was highly specific with only a single weak false positive out of 266 pools tested (specificity > 99.6%). The RVFV assay can provide a rapid, safe, easy-to-use preliminary test to alert public health personnel to the presence of RVFV in mosquitoes in a given area. Results from this assay will allow for more rapid medical threat assessments and the focusing of vector control measures on high-risk areas.
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