OIE Virtual Training Series on Rabies Serology for SAARC Region


Rabies is endemic in both humans and animals in seven of the eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Members States (MSs), contributing to about 45% of the global burden of human rabies. Over 95% of human rabies cases are associated with dog bites. Rabies control and subsequent elimination necessitates a multi-sectoral collaboration, using a One Health approach.

In November 2020, the OIE Regional Representation for Asia and the Pacific (RRAP) in collaboration with the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University – Commonwealth Veterinary Association – Rabies Diagnostic Laboratory (KVAFSU-CVA-RDL) organised a virtual training on rabies diagnosis for the SAARC MSs. The training was focused on enhancing dog rabies surveillance in the SAARC Members through specialized training on occipital foramen approach of brain sampling, lateral flow assays and the direct fluorescent antibody tests.

As a follow up to that training, the OIE RRAP with KVAFSU-CVA-RDL organized a virtual training on rabies serology focusing on the Rapid Fluorescent Focus Inhibition Test (RFFIT) on 11th to 13th October 2021 with the following objectives:

  • To enhance awareness on the latest developments in rabies serology and sero-surveillance.
  • To enhance laboratory capacity of SAARC MSs for rabies serology focusing on RFFIT.
  • To enhance rabies control activities.
  • To develop networking and coordination between rabies diagnostic/serology laboratories in SAARC MSs and the KVAFSU-CVA RDL, OIE Reference Laboratory for Rabies.
  • To identify key knowledge gaps and issues related to rabies sero-surveillance and control in SAARC MSs.

Laboratory diagnosticians/veterinarians working on animal rabies diagnosis in the national/subnational government laboratories of the six SAARC MSs (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) attended the training.