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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-95
 

Viral antigen detection in blood (Serum) has no role in laboratory diagnosis of rabies


Department of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission19-Oct-2019
Date of Acceptance21-Oct-2019
Date of Web Publication16-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Reeta S Mani
Department of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_442_19

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How to cite this article:
Mani RS, Vasanthapuram R. Viral antigen detection in blood (Serum) has no role in laboratory diagnosis of rabies. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2021;24:94-5

How to cite this URL:
Mani RS, Vasanthapuram R. Viral antigen detection in blood (Serum) has no role in laboratory diagnosis of rabies. Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 12];24:94-5. Available from: https://www.annalsofian.org/text.asp?2021/24/1/94/272644




Sir,

We wish to bring to your attention several concerns we have regarding a case report published recently in your journal (Bokade CM, et al. Survival of Atypical Rabies Encephalitis. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2019;22:319-21).[1]

The authors state (on page 2, paragraph 2) that “A viral antigen detection kit from reference Neurovirology Laboratory of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Rabies, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, showed positive result on serum.”

  • We would like to state that we do not use or recommend any such diagnostic kit.
  • We have communicated with the authors, requesting them to clarify their statement, and are not satisfied with their explanations. The details of the communication are as follows:


In a personal email communication dated 7th August 2019, the corresponding author admitted to us that no clinical samples from the patient were sent to the Neurovirology laboratory, NIMHANS for rabies diagnostic testing. The rabies antigen testing in the serum sample of the patient was performed at their own institute, using a diagnostic kit (Anigen Rapid Rabies Ag Test Kit, Bionote, Korea) approved for use only in animals (brain tissue and saliva) and not human samples.

As mentioned in the manuscript, the author continues to claim in his email communication that this kit was recommended for use by the Neurovirology laboratory, NIMHANS which is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research in Rabies. We wish to place on record that this is incorrect. We categorically state that we neither mentioned nor recommended the use of any kit for rabies antigen detection in human serum samples.

  • Importantly, on a scientific note, it has been well-established that there is no viremia in rabies; hence antigen detection or viral RNA detection by PCR in blood/serum has no role in rabies diagnosis.
  • Based on their statements in the manuscript as well as in the email communication to us, it is clear that the authors used an inappropriate kit and clinical sample for diagnosis; thereby the diagnosis itself is questionable.
  • As an institute of national importance and a laboratory engaged in rabies diagnosis for more than two decades, we take our responsibility to the scientific and medical community very seriously. We therefore would like to ensure that no reader is misled by this work.


In view of the above information, we appeal to the editor to take appropriate action.

To,

The Editor

Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Bokade CM, Gajimwar VS, Meshram RM, Wathore SB. Survival of atypical rabies encephalitis. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2019;22:319-321.  Back to cited text no. 1
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