The most effective and sustainable method to control and eliminate rabies in wildlife is the oral rabies vaccination (ORV) of target species, namely foxes and raccoon dogs in Europe. According to WHO and OIE, the effectiveness of oral vaccination campaigns should be regularly assessed via disease surveillance and ORV antibody monitoring. Rabies antibodies are generally screened for in field animal cadavers, whose body fluids are often of poor quality. Therefore, the use of alternative methods such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been proposed to improve reliability of serological results obtained on wildlife samples. We undertook an international collaborative study to determine if the commercial BioPro ELISA Rabies Ab kit is a reliable and reproducible tool for rabies serological testing. Our results reveal that the overall specificity evaluated on naive samples reached 96.7%, and the coefficients of concordance obtained for fox and raccoon dog samples were 97.2% and 97.5%, respectively. The overall agreement values obtained for the four marketed oral vaccines used in Europe were all equal to or greater than 95%. The coefficients of concordance obtained by laboratories ranged from 87.2% to 100%. The results of this collaborative study show good robustness and reproducibility of the BioPro ELISA Rabies Ab kit.
Journal of Virological Methods, 2016, Vol 238, p. 77-85