DRIT training in Lesotho
See that little red dot? That shows the presence of the rabies virus in this sample.
This result was gained using Direct Rapid Immunohistochemical Test (DRIT), a technique that delivers results with a normal microscope and can be done in the field. [AC1]
Why does this matter? Because it makes testing for rabies quick and relatively easy.
(Normally rabies tests are done using a fluorescent microscope, which requires experienced readers relying on an expensive and sometimes temperamental piece of equipment that is often only available at national laboratories. A constraint that results in the notorious underreporting of rabies.)
Last week we were in Lesotho and, along with our REC and AVC workshops, we ran a comprehensive DRIT training sessions.
We delivered DRIT starter kits (containing sufficient reagents for 300 samples) and the two groups that travelled to the Central Veterinary Laboratory for the training now have the skills and equipment to look for little red dots in samples and test for rabies using DRIT in the field.
Next month another group will also receive their kit and complete the training.
Later in the year, Lesotho will assess its progress using the Stepwise Approach towards Rabies Elimination and just this improved rabies surveillance capacity will improve its rating.
If you want to find out more about DRIT, the Rabies Blueprint has a training manual that you can access free of charge http://caninerabiesblueprint.org/Direct-Rapid-Immunohistochemical