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Rabies Diagnosis in Human


Supaporn Wacharapluesadee, MSc*,
Thiravat Hemachudha, MD**

* Molecular Biology Laboratory for Neurological Diseases, Thai Red Cross Society
** Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University


Rabies diagnosis in humans can be made by obtaining a history of exposure particularly to an animal bite, clinical symptoms and signs, neuroimaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and laboratory testing. Although diagnosis made by clinical grounds alone can be useful, this can only be limited to furious rabies. Owing to the fact that there is more than one form of rabies (furious, paralytic and atypical rabies) relying on only clinical diagnosis will undoubtedly lead to under reporting. The non-classic or atypical rabies presents with a non specific pattern lacking pathognomomic signs as found in classic forms (furious and paralytic). A diagnosis of rabies should be considered in any patient who presents with encephalopathy of unknown cause. Diagnosis of rabies requires laboratory confirmation. MRI pattern may differentiate rabies from other viral encephalitides. Laboratory diagnosis can be used for confirmation by demonstration of viral proteins or its genomic RNA. The nucleic acid amplification method is often used as a diagnostic test due to its good sensitivity and specificity and can be applied to wide varieties of specimens. Accurate data on rabies statistics contribute to the success in control and prevention of rabies.

Keyword : Rabies, Diagnosis, Human, Laboratory, Clinical

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