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In Colombia, the Colombian Institute of Tropical Medicine (ICMT) of the CES University has a reference laboratory for the specialized diagnosis of certain diseases, its mission is based on research and taking advantage of its potential for the development of other projects.

For example, this is the case of rabies tests, which consist of post-mortem tests on domestic or wild animals that have been euthanized because they are believed to have the rabies virus, since they have a neurological problem, or are involved in events such as attacks or aggressive behavior.

ICMT researcher analyzing a sample

Photography: Office of Organizational Communication

Marcela Romero Montoya, coordinator of the ICMT IPS, explained how the practice of the direct immunofluorescence test is carried out on the samples sent for diagnosis. "The head of the sacrificed animal arrives at the laboratory, the pathologist of the CES University performs the extraction of 3 samples from the animal's brain: cerebellum, stem and hippocampus, later in the laboratory some plates are taken to identify if there is presence of the virus of the Rage”.

So far only one case has tested positive. It was a cat from the municipality of Barbosa, which died because it was neurologically ill. "When there is a positive case, the National Institute of Health is notified directly, since an epidemiological fence is carried out in the area to take actions, such as: looking for other sick animals, people who had contact with the infected animal and proceed to carry out preventive vaccination”, Affirmed the bacteriologist Romero Montoya.

The project is valid until January 2020. Its importance is highlighted, because it is a way of preserving life, since the lethality of rabies in humans is 99.9%, that is, the probability of death with this virus it is quite high.

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