First External Quality Assessment of Molecular and Serological Detection of Rift Valley Fever in the Western Mediterranean Region



Monaco F, Cosseddu GM, Doumbia B, Madani H, El Mellouli F, Jiménez-Clavero MA, Sghaier S, Marianneau P, Cetre-Sossah C, Polci A, Lacote S, Lakhdar M, Fernandez-Pinero J, Sari Nassim C, Pinoni C, Capobianco Dondona A, Gallardo C, Bouzid T, Conte A, Bortone G, Savini G, Petrini A, Puech L.


PLoS One. 2015 Nov 13;10(11):e0142129. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142129. 2015.


Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral zoonosis which affects humans and a wide range of domestic and wild ruminants. The large spread of RVF in Africa and its potential to emerge beyond its geographic range requires the development of surveillance strategies to promptly detect the disease outbreaks in order to implement efficient control measures, which could prevent the widespread of the virus to humans. The Animal Health Mediterranean Network (REMESA) linking some Northern African countries as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia with Southern European ones as France, Italy, Portugal and Spain aims at improving the animal health in the Western Mediterranean Region since 2009. In this context, a first assessment of the diagnostic capacities of the laboratories involved in the RVF surveillance was performed. The first proficiency testing (external quality assessment–EQA) for the detection of the viral genome and antibodies of RVF virus (RVFV) was carried out from October 2013 to February 2014. Ten laboratories participated from 6 different countries (4 from North Africa and 2 from Europe). Six laboratories participated in the ring trial for both viral RNA and antibodies detection methods, while four laboratories participated exclusively in the antibodies detection ring trial. For the EQA targeting the viral RNA detection methods 5 out of 6 laboratories reported 100% of correct results. One laboratory misidentified 2 positive samples as negative and 3 positive samples as doubtful indicating a need for corrective actions. For the EQA targeting IgG and IgM antibodies methods 9 out of the 10 laboratories reported 100% of correct results, whilst one laboratory reported all correct results except one false-positive. These two ring trials provide evidence that most of the participating laboratories are capable to detect RVF antibodies and viral RNA thus recognizing RVF infection in affected ruminants with the diagnostic methods currently available.

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Link/DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142129