Poor performance of two rapid immunochromatographic assays for anti-Japanese encephalitis virus immunoglobulin M detection in cerebrospinal fluid and serum from patients with suspected Japanese encephalitis virus infection in Laos.
Sengvilaipaseuth O., Castonguay-Vanier J., Chanthongthip A., Phonemixay O., Thongpaseuth S., Vongsouvath M., Newton PN., Bharucha T., Dubot-Pérès A.
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.