Hendra Virus (HeV) is a highly pathogenic zoonotic disease causing severe illness and mortality in humans and horses. Early detection of this Henipavirus is critical for containing outbreaks, however, confirmatory diagnosis currently requires shipment to a centralized facility that delays diagnosis for several hours or even days. Here we describe the development and testing of a rapid assay for the detection of HeV RNA. A reverse-transcriptase recombinase polymerase assay combined with lateral flow assay (RT-RPA-LFD) was developed that targeted the M gene of the HeV genome. RNA extracted from a wide range of samples from infected and non-infected horses, including nasal, oral, rectal and urogenital swabs, as well as bloods were tested by RT-RPA-LFD and compared to Hendra virus real-time reverse transcriptase PCR where it demonstrated 100% analytical sensitivity and 100% clinical specificity. The HeV RT-RPA LFD was optimized to amplify results in 6 minutes, isothermally at 39 °C, and provides a sensitive, and rapid detection method, amenable for field adaptation. The assay has the potential to dramatically reduce HeV diagnosis times, improve biosecurity surveillance, support a One Health approach, protect attending personnel and reduce prolonged suffering of animals.
XIX International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM), Brisbane, Australia 18-22 September 2016
XIX International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria Abstract Book / pp.1110