Rabies Testing with Dr. Wang

rabies is one of the deadliest viruses

known to mankind and the first step in

preventing or controlling an outbreak is

to confirm a suspected rabies case and

report it to the authorities the

veterinary diagnostic laboratory here at

the University of Illinois College of

Veterinary Medicine is one of an elite

number of labs across the nation that

has the technology and the expertise to

confirm these cases so let's go inside

and meet the team that's keeping you and

me and our pets from going mad dr. Wong

is a virologist and one of twenty

veterinarians that work in the college's

diagnostic laboratory it's here that

every day they process hundreds of

samples to try to help veterinarians

around the state and the nation identify

what disease is ailing their patients

today is a typical day in the office for

dr. Wong and his team they're getting

ready to process the day's rabies cases

usually around 15 brains that's right

you heard me correct there's only one

way to diagnose rabies and animals you

can't find it in a test tube or a petri

dish or an MRI or cat scan you have to

have the animals brain Debbi casue has

been processing brains at the diagnostic

laboratory for several years and every

day she suits up in her protective gear

to work with these specimens that are

potentially carrying the lethal rabies

virus because of the threat to human


she'll double glove so that if one of

her outer gloves tears when working with

the specimen she'll still be protected

then she'll carefully handle the brain

to put a sample of cells onto a slide

for dr. Wong to review he'll walk down

the hall to his microscope but it's not

just your regular microscope

it's a fluorescence microscope and it

allows dr. Wong to get images like this

it might look like a beautiful galaxy

but it's actually a rabies positive

sample and we know this because of how

it flores's this is the negative with

the sample as you can see here is no any

green color or sparkling green color

show on this slice and this is another

slice and the shows

zooms drawn the sparkling green color

and is this example is from the path and

is a strong positive and this rise is

show also post him from the same anymore

and is just a different area of the

scope and you can see it have a strong

positive as a signal just about green

although the technology involved in

viewing the Raby sample under her

microscope has advanced significantly

over the past 70 years the steps that

laboratory personnel take to process the

specimens hasn't actually changed as

much though nowadays were much more

careful with biosecurity and we never

touch a brain without double gloving

like they're doing here and those

protocols that Public Health

Department's advertised in the 1950s to

prevent rabies epidemics in people and


well those recommendations still hold

true today to keep your pets and our

communities safe remember to follow

these three steps vaccinate your pets

vaccination prevents the development of

rabies don't approach wild animals that

are acting strange report them to your

local public health authorities and if

you or your pad are bitten by a wild


or an animal with an unknown vaccination

status be sure to seek medical attention

immediately by following those simple

steps you can help keep our pets in our

communities safe