The optimal timing for collection and the types of clinical samples recommended for rubella virus isolation for postnatal rubella and for congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) are provided in chapter 3. The procedure for the inoculation of cell culture with clinical specimens from suspected cases of rubella is provided in Annex 5.2.

In additional to rubella virus detection by RT-PCR (Chapter 6. Detection of viral RNA by RT-PCR for the confirmation of measles and rubella infection), a method for the detection of rubella E1 glycoprotein in infected cells using monoclonal antibodies in either an immunofluorescent or an immunocolorimetric assay (ICA) has been developed by CDC, Atlanta [3,4].

These methods detect viral antigen in monolayers of Vero/hSLAM (or Vero cells) that have been infected with rubella virus. The optimal temperature for rubella virus growth in cell culture is 35°C, although incubators set at 35°C -37°C can be utilized for rubella virus cultures. Details of the ICA procedure and the procedure for an IFA for rubella virus detection are available in Annex 5.4.