METHODS: Samples were obtained from 172/192 children presenting to a site in rural India with acute encephalitis syndrome.
RESULTS: Using the reference VT ELISA, infection with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was confirmed in 44 (26%) patients, with central nervous system infection confirmed in 27 of these; seven patients were dengue seropositive. Of the 121 remaining patients, 37 (31%) were JEV negative and 84 (69%) were JEV unknown because timing of the last sample tested was <10 day of illness or unknown. For patient classification with XCyton, using cerebrospinal fluid alone (the recommended sample), sensitivity was 77.8% (59.2-89.4) with specificity of 97.3% (90.6-99.2). For Panbio ELISA, using serum alone (the recommended sample), sensitivity was 72.5% (57.2-83.9) with specificity of 97.5% (92.8-99.1). Using all available samples for patient classification, sensitivity and specificity were 63.6% (95% CI: 48.9-76.2) and 98.4% (94.5-99.6), respectively, for XCyton ELISA and 75.0% (59.3-85.4) and 97.7% (93.3-99.2) for Panbio ELISA.
CONCLUSION: The two commercially available ELISAs had reasonable sensitivities and excellent specificities for diagnosing JEV.