CSTE Position Statement(s)
Clinical DescriptionRabies is an acute encephalomyelitis that almost always progresses to coma or death within 10 days after the first symptom.
Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis
- Detection by direct fluorescent antibody of viral antigens in a clinical specimen (preferably the brain or the nerves surrounding hair follicles in the nape of the neck), OR
- Isolation (in cell culture or in a laboratory animal) of rabies virus from saliva, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), or central nervous system tissue, OR
- Identification of a rabies-neutralizing antibody titer greater than or equal to 5 (complete neutralization) in CSF, OR
- Identification of a rabies-neutralizing antibody titer greater than or equal to 5 (complete neutralization) in the serum of an unvaccinated person.
ConfirmedA clinically compatible case that is laboratory confirmed
CommentsLaboratory confirmation by all of the above methods is strongly recommended.
1. CDC. (1990). Case Definitions for Public Health Surveillance. MMWR, 39(RR-13), 1-43. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00025629.htm