A new rabies test developed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could mean people exposed to potentially rabid animals could forego the weeks-long regimen of shots to prevent the deadly disease.
The new test, designed for use in animals, can more easily and precisely diagnose rabies infection, according to a study published today in PLOS One. The new LN34 test is simpler and easier to use than current tests. During the pilot study, it produced no false negatives, fewer false positive, and fewer inconclusive results. It could allow doctors and patients to make better informed decisions about who needs treatment for rabies, which is nearly always fatal once symptoms start.
CDC is working with the Association of Public Health Laboratories to develop rabies testing guidance that will help clinicians and laboratory staff decide which tests to run in different scenarios and which tests can be used to confirm rabies, either singly or in combination with other tests.
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