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Open Access An Automated ELISA Using Recombinant Antigens for Serologic Diagnosis of B Virus Infections in Macaques

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Abstract:

B virus (Macacine herpesvirus 1) occurs naturally in macaques and can cause lethal zoonotic infections in humans. Detection of B virus (BV) antibodies in macaques is essential for the development of SPF breeding colonies and for diagnosing infection in macaques that are involved in human exposures. Traditionally, BV infections are monitored for presence of antibodies by ELISA (a screening assay) and western blot analysis (WBA; a confirmatory test). Both tests use lysates of infected cells as antigens. Because WBA often fails to confirm the presence of low-titer serum antibodies detected by ELISA, we examined a recombinant-based ELISA as a potential alternative confirmatory test. We compared a high-throughput ELISA using 384-well plates for simultaneous antibody screening against 4 BV-related, recombinant proteins with the standard ELISA and WBA. The recombinant ELISA results confirmed more ELISA-positive sera than did WBA. The superiority of the recombinant ELISA over WBA was particularly prominent for sera with low (<500 ELISA units) antibody titers. Among low-titer sera, the relative sensitivity of the recombinant ELISA ranged from 36.7% to 45.0% as compared with 3.3% to 10.0% for WBA. In addition, the screening and confirmatory assays can be run simultaneously, providing results more rapidly. We conclude that the recombinant ELISA is an effective replacement for WBA as a confirmatory assay for the evaluation of macaque serum antibodies to BV.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Viral Immunology Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. dkatz@gsu.edu 2: Viral Immunology Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA 3: Viral Immunology Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Foreign Animal Disease Research Unit, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Greenport, New York, USA 4: Department of Clinical Investigation, Brook Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, USA

Publication date: 2012-12-01

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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