RITM conducts 3rd Rabies Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test (DFAT) Training
In photo: Rabies DFAT training participant performing microscopy reading of slides during hands-on laboratory exercises

The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), through its Veterinary Research Department Special Pathogens Laboratory (VRD-SPL), conducted the third instalment of its Rabies Direct Fluorescent Antibody Test (DFAT) training course on September 26-30, 2022. 

Eleven (11) veterinarians, medical technologists, and laboratory personnel from Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDL) participated in the five-day training course. The component activities of the program includes microscopy reading of slides, reagent preparations, prosection, smear, fixations and slide staining. The lectures and demonstrations were conducted on the first day at B Hotel, Alabang, while the rest of the training duration was held at VRD-SPL for the hands-on laboratory exercises. 

“Laboratory confirmation remains an integral part of rabies surveillance thus, laboratory workers need to continue honing their skills in performing this critical task. It is our pleasure and honour to provide this training to the regional animal disease diagnostic laboratories as we remain committed to providing support to the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program. Let us all do our part in ensuring a rabies-free Philippines and world in 2030,” said RITM Clinical Research Division Chief Dr. Beatriz Quiambao, underscoring the importance of laboratory diagnostics in the rabies control and elimination efforts. 

Rabies is a viral disease that is estimated to cause 59,000 human deaths annually in over 150 countries–including the Philippines. As such, the National Rabies Prevention and Control Program targets the elimination of rabies in the country by the year 2030 and the Department of Agriculture was mandated by the Anti-rabies Act of 2007 to improve and upgrade existing animal rabies laboratory diagnostic capabilities to ensure better services to the people.

In response, VRD-SPL designed the Rabies DFAT intensive training course to strengthen the capacity of animal diagnostic laboratories nationwide in rabies diagnostics and improve the proficiency of laboratory staff by introducing new techniques that will upgrade their laboratory services. 

By Reina Manongsong, Communication and Engagement Office