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Background: Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a leading identified cause of encephalitis in Asia, often occurring in rural areas with poor access to laboratory diagnostics. We evaluated two rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for anti-JEV immunoglobulin M (IgM) detection. Methods: Consecutive cerebrospinal fluid and serum from 388 patients (704 samples) with suspected JEV infections admitted to six hospitals in Laos were tested with one of two SD-Bioline anti-JEV IgM RDTs and the World Health Organization standard anti-JEV IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA; Panbio Japanese Encephalitis-Dengue IgM Combo ELISA. Results and Conclusions: The performance of both RDTs showed strikingly low sensitivity in comparison to anti-JEV IgM antibody capture ELISA (2.1-51.4%), suggesting low sensitivity of the RDTs. We highlight the fundamental prerequisite to validate RDTs prior to use to ensure that they meet standards for testing.

Original publication




Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





373 - 377


Central nervous system infection, Immunoassays, Japanese encephalitis virus, Laos, Rapid diagnostic tests, South-East Asia, Adolescent, Adult, Antibodies, Viral, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Child, Child, Preschool, Chromatography, Affinity, Encephalitis Virus, Japanese, Encephalitis, Japanese, Female, Humans, Immunoglobulin M, Laos, Male, Reproducibility of Results, Young Adult