A monoclonal antibody (MAb) based solid-phase blocking ELISA was developed for detection of antibodies to Nipah virus. The ELISA was designed to detect remaining antigens on the plate with anti-Nipah MAb conjugate after the reaction with sample serum, and enabled simple procedure, detection of neutralizing antibody to Nipah virus, and application of samples from different animal species. Forty of 200 swine reference sera examined were positive by the ELISA, of which thirty seven were found positive by serum neutralization test. Sera from a total of 131 fruit bats captured in Malaysia were also tested and all found negative by the both tests. It is considered that the solid-phase blocking ELISA can be used as a screening test for Nipah virus infection followed by the serum neutralization test as confirmatory test.
Nipah and Hendra viruses belong to the novel Henipavirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family. Its zoonotic circulation in bats and recent emergence in Malaysia with fatal consequences for humans that were in close contact with infected pigs, has made the reinforcement of epidemiological and clinical surveillance systems a priority. In this study, TaqMan RT-PCR of the Nipah nucleoprotein has been developed so that Nipah virus RNA in field specimens or laboratory material can be characterized rapidly and specifically and quantitated. The linearity of the standard curve allowed quantification of 10(3) to 10(9) RNA transcripts. The sensitivity of the test was close to 1 pfu. The kinetics of Nipah virus production in Vero cells was monitored by the determination of infectious virus particles in the supernatant fluid and by quantitation of the viral RNA. Approximately, 1000 RNA molecules were detected per virion, suggesting the presence of many non-infectious particles, similar to other RNA viruses. TaqMan real-time RT-PCR failed to detect Hendra virus DNA. Importantly, the method was able to detect virus despite a similar ratio in viremic sera from hamsters infected with Nipah virus. This standardized technique is sensitive and reliable and allows rapid detection and quantitation of Nipah RNA in both field and experimental materials used for the surveillance and specific diagnosis of Nipah virus.
Banna virus (BAV, genus Seadornavirus, family Reoviridae) is an arbovirus suspected to be responsible for encephalitis in humans. Two genotypes of this virus are distinguishable: A (Chinese isolate, BAV-Ch) and B (Indonesian isolate, BAV-In6969) which exhibit only 41% amino-acid identity in the sequence of their VP9. The VP7 to VP12 of BAV-Ch and VP9 of BAV-In6969 were expressed in bacteria using pGEX-4T-2 vector. VP9 was chosen to establish an ELISA for BAV, based mainly on two observations: (i). VP9 is a major protein in virus-infected cells and is a capsid protein (ii). among all the proteins expressed, VP9 was obtained in high amount and showed the highest immuno-reactivity to anti-BAV ascitic fluid. The VP9s ELISA was evaluated in three populations: French blood donors and two populations (blood donors and patients with a neurological syndrome) from Malaysia, representing the region where the virus was isolated in the past. The specificity of this ELISA was >98%. In mice injected with live BAV, the assay detected IgG-antibody to BAV infection 21 days post-injection, which was confirmed by Western blot using BAV-infected cells. The VP9 ELISA permits to determine the sero-status of a population without special safety precautions and without any requirements to propagate the BAV. This test should be a useful tool for epidemiological survey of BAV.
Feline calicivirus (FCV) has been used by researchers as a surrogate for Norwalk virus (NV), since they share a similar genomic organization, physicochemical characteristics, and are grouped in the same family, Caliciviridae. Unlike NV, however, FCV can grow in established cell lines and produce a syncytial form of cytopathic effect. In this report, we describe the development and standardization of a plaque assay for FCV using monolayers of an established line of feline kidney (CrFK) cells in 12-well cell culture plates. The assay method has demonstrated reproducibility, ease of performance and resulted in clear plaque zones, readable in 24 h after virus inoculation. The infectivity titre of the virus by this plaque assay agreed well with tissue culture infectious dose(50) (TCID(50)) determinations. The described plaque assay would be a valuable tool in conducting various quantitative investigations using FCV as a model for NV and Norwalk-like viruses (NLV).
Four nucleic acid extraction protocols were examined for their suitability for extraction of the ssRNA, dsRNA and dsDNA genomes of gastroenteritis viruses, for PCR detection. Protocol (A), employed specimen lysis with guanidinium thiocyanate, extraction with phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol and nucleic acid purification by size-fractionated silica particles. Protocol (B), utilised specimen lysis with guanidinium thiocyanate and nucleic acid purification by silica, followed by phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol extraction. Protocol (C), employed specimen lysis with guanidinium thiocyanate and nucleic acid purification by RNAID glass powder. Protocol (D), employed specimen lysis with sodium dodecyl sulphate, proteinase K digestion and extraction with phenol-chloroform-isoamyl alcohol. Of the four protocols, (B) appeared to be a suitable candidate 'universal' nucleic acid extraction procedure for PCR detection of different viral agents of gastroenteritis in a single nucleic acid extract of a faecal specimen, irrespective of genome composition. Omission of the phenol-chloroform extraction step did not affect negatively the ability of protocol (B) to allow PCR detection of gastroenteritis viruses in faecal specimens. PCR detection of NLVs, astroviruses, rotaviruses and adenoviruses, in single nucleic acid extracts of faecal specimens obtained from the field, confirmed the universality of the modified protocol (B). We propose the modified protocol (B) as a 'universal' nucleic acid extraction procedure, for monoplex PCR detection of gastroenteritis viruses in single nucleic acid extracts of faecal specimens and for development of multiplex PCR for their simultaneous detection.
Tioman virus is a newly described bat-urine derived paramyxovirus isolated in Tioman Island, Malaysia in 2001. Hitherto, neither human nor animal infection by this virus has been reported. Nonetheless, its close relationship to another paramyxovirus, the Menangle virus which had caused diseases in humans and pigs [Philbey, A.W., Kirkland, P.D., Ross, A.D., Davis, R.J., Gleeson, A.B., Love, R.J., Daniels, P.W., Gould, A.R., Hyatt, A.D., 1998. An apparently new virus (family Paramyxoviridae) infectious for pigs, humans, and fruit bats. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 4, 269-271], raises the possibility that it may be potentially pathogenic. In this study, mice were experimentally infected with Tioman virus by intraperitoneal and intracerebral routes, and the cellular targets and topographical distribution of viral genome and antigens were examined using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The possible association between viral infection and apoptosis was also investigated using the TUNEL assay and immunohistochemistry to FasL, Caspase-3, Caspase-8, Caspase-9 and bcl-2. The results showed that Tioman virus inoculated intracerebrally was neurotropic causing plaque-like necrotic areas, and appeared to preferentially replicate in the neocortex and limbic system. Viral infection of inflammatory cells was also demonstrated. TUNEL and Caspase-3 positivity was found in inflammatory cells but not in neurons, while FasL, Caspase-8 and Caspase-9 were consistently negative. This suggests that neuronal infection was associated with necrosis rather than apoptosis. Moreover, the data suggest that there may be an association between viral infection and apoptosis in inflammatory cells, and that it could, at least in part, involve Caspase-independent pathways. Bcl-2 was expressed in some neurons and inflammatory cells indicating its possible role in anti-apoptosis. There was no evidence of central nervous system infection via the intraperitoneal route.
A commercial dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA was evaluated to demonstrate its potential application for early laboratory diagnosis of acute dengue virus infection. Dengue virus NS1 antigen was detected in 199 of 213 acute serum samples from patients with laboratory confirmation of acute dengue virus infection but none of the 354 healthy blood donors' serum specimens. The dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA gave an overall sensitivity of 93.4% (199/213) and a specificity of 100% (354/354). The sensitivity was significantly higher in acute primary dengue (97.3%) than in acute secondary dengue (70.0%). The positive predictive value of the dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA was 100% and negative predictive value was 97.3%. Comparatively, virus isolation gave an overall positive isolation rate of 68.1% with a positive isolation rate of 73.9 and 31.0% for acute primary dengue and acute secondary dengue, respectively. Molecular detection of dengue RNA by RT-PCR gave an overall positive detection rate of 66.7% with a detection rate of 65.2 and 75.9% for acute primary dengue and acute secondary dengue, respectively. The results indicate that the commercial dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA may be superior to virus isolation and RT-PCR for the laboratory diagnosis of acute dengue infection based on a single serum sample.
The use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in molecular diagnosis is now accepted worldwide and has become an essential tool in the research laboratory. In the laboratory, a rapid detection, serotyping and quantitation, one-step real-time RT-PCR assay was developed for dengue virus using TaqMan probes. In this assay, a set of forward and reverse primers were designed targeting the serotype conserved region at the NS5 gene, at the same time flanking a variable region for all four serotypes which were used to design the serotype-specific TaqMan probes. This multiplex one-step RT-PCR assay was evaluated using 376 samples collected during the year 2003. These groups included RNA from prototype dengue virus (1-4), RNA from acute serum from which dengue virus was isolated, RNA from tissue culture supernatants of dengue virus isolated, RNA from seronegative acute samples (which were culture and IgM negative) and RNA from samples of dengue IgM positive sera. The specificity of this assay was also evaluated using a panel of sera which were positive for other common tropical disease agents including herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, measles virus, varicella-zoster virus, rubella virus, mumps virus, WWF, West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, S. typhi, Legionella, Leptospira, Chlamydia, and Mycoplasma. The sensitivity, specificity and real-time PCR efficiency of this assay were 89.54%, 100% and 91.5%, respectively.
Heat precipitation procedure has been regularly incorporated as a selective purification step in various thermostable proteins expressed in different hosts. This method is efficient in precipitation of most of the host proteins and also deactivates various host proteases that can be harmful to the desired gene products. In this study, introduction of heat treatment procedure in the purification of hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) produced in Escherichia coli has been investigated. Thermal treatment of the cell homogenate at 60 degrees C for 30 min prior to subsequent clarification steps has resulted in 1.4 times and 18% higher in purity and recovery yield, respectively, compared to the non-heat-treated cell homogenate. In direct capture of HBcAg by using anion-exchangers from unclarified feedstock, pre-conditioning the feedstock by heat treatment at 60 degrees C for 45 min has increased the recovery yield of HBcAg by 2.9-fold and 42% in purity compared to that treated for 10 min. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis showed that the antigenicity of the core particles was not affected by the heat treatment process.
Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains can be classified as virulent or avirulent based upon the severity of the disease. Differentiation of the virus into virulent and avirulent is necessary for effective control of the disease. Biopanning experiments were performed using a disulfide constrained phage displayed heptapeptide library against three pathotypes of NDV strains: velogenic (highly virulent), mesogenic (moderately virulent) and lentogenic (avirulent). A phage clone bearing the peptide sequence SWGEYDM capable of distinguishing virulent from avirulent NDV strains was isolated. This phage clone was employed as a diagnostic reagent in a dot blot assay and it successfully detected only virulent NDV strains.
A modified method for the rapid isolation of specific ligands to whole virus particles is described. Biopanning against cymbidium mosaic virus was carried out with a commercial 12-mer random peptide display library. A solution phase panning method was devised using streptavidin-coated superparamagnetic beads. The solution based panning method was more efficient than conventional immobilized target panning when using whole viral particles of cymbidium mosaic virus as a target. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of cymbidium mosaic virus-binding peptides isolated from the library identified seven peptides with affinity for cymbidium mosaic virus and one peptide which was specific to cymbidium mosaic virus and had no significant binding to odontoglossum ringspot virus. This method should have broad application for the screening of whole viral particles towards the rapid development of diagnostic reagents without the requirement for cloning and expression of single antigens.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious epidemic disease threatening the cattle industry since the sixteenth century. In recent years, the development of diagnostic assays for FMD has benefited considerably from the advances of recombinant DNA technology. In this study, the immunodominant region of the capsid protein VP1 of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was fused to the T7 bacteriophage and expressed on the surface of the bacteriophage capsid protein. The recombinant protein of about 42 kDa was detected by the anti-T7 tag monoclonal antibody in Western blot analysis. Phage ELISA showed that both the vaccinated and positive infected bovine sera reacted significantly with the recombinant T7 particle. This study demonstrated the potential of the T7 phage displaying the VP1 epitope as a diagnostic reagent.
The core antigen (HBcAg) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the markers for the identification of the viral infection. The main purpose of this study was to develop a TaqMan real-time detection assay based on the concept of phage display mediated immuno-PCR (PD-IPCR) for the detection of HBcAg. PD-IPCR combines the advantages of immuno-PCR (IPCR) and phage display technology. IPCR integrates the versatility of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with the sensitivity and signal generation power of PCR. Whereas, phage display technology exploits the physical association between the displayed peptide and the encoding DNA within the same phage particle. In this study, a constrained peptide displayed on the surface of an M13 recombinant bacteriophage that interacts tightly with HBcAg was applied as a diagnostic reagent in IPCR. The phage displayed peptide and its encoding DNA can be used to replace monoclonal antibody (mAb) and chemically bound DNA, respectively. This method is able to detect as low as 10ng of HBcAg with 10(8)pfu/ml of the recombinant phage which is about 10,000 times more sensitive than the phage-ELISA. The PD-IPCR provides an alternative means for the detection of HBcAg in human serum samples.
Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNv) infects giant freshwater prawns and causes white tail disease (WTD). The coding region of the capsid protein of MrNv was amplified with RT-PCR and cloned into the pTrcHis2-TOPO vector. The recombinant plasmid was introduced into Escherichia coli and protein expression was induced with IPTG. SDS-PAGE showed that the recombinant protein containing the His-tag and myc epitope has a molecular mass of about 46 kDa and it was detected by the anti-His antibody in Western blotting. The protein was purified using immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC) and transmission electron microscopic analysis revealed that the recombinant protein assembled into virus-like particles (VLPs) with a diameter of about 30±3 nm. The size of the particles was confirmed by dynamic light scattering. Nucleic acids were extracted from the VLPs and treatment with nucleases showed that they were mainly RNA molecules. This is the first report describing the production of MrNv capsid protein in bacteria and its assembly into VLPs.
Several critical factors of an influenza microneutralization assay, utilizing a rapid biotin-streptavidin conjugated system for detecting influenza virus subtypes A and B, are addressed within this manuscript. Factors such as incubation times, amount of virus, cell seeding, sonication, and TPCK trypsin were evaluated for their ability to affect influenza virus neutralization in a microplate-based neutralization assay using Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. It is apparent that the amount of virus used in the assay is the most critical factor to be optimized in an influenza microneutralization assay. Results indicate that 100xTCID(50) of influenza A/Solomon Islands/03/2006 (H1N1) virus overloads the assay and results in no, to low, neutralization, in both ferret and macaque sera, respectively, whereas using 6xTCID(50) resulted in significantly improved neutralization. Conversely, strong neutralization was observed against 100xTCID(50) of B/Malaysia/2506/04 virus. In this manuscript the critical factors described above were optimized and the results indicate that the described biotin-streptavidin conjugated influenza microneutralization assay is a rapid and robust method for detecting the presence of functional, influenza virus-neutralizing antibodies.
The broad species tropism of Nipah virus (NiV) coupled with its high pathogenicity demand a rapid search for a new biomarker candidate for diagnosis. The matrix (M) protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified using a Ni-NTA affinity column chromatography and sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The recombinant M protein with the molecular mass (Mr) of about 43 kDa was detected by anti-NiV serum and anti-myc antibody. About 50% of the M protein was found to be soluble and localized in cytoplasm when the cells were grown at 30 degrees C. Electron microscopic analysis showed that the purified M protein assembled into spherical particles of different sizes with diameters ranging from 20 to 50 nm. The purified M protein showed significant reactivity with the swine sera collected during the NiV outbreak, demonstrating its potential as a diagnostic reagent.
Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) has emerged as the most important cause of large outbreaks of severe and sometimes fatal hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) across the Asia-Pacific region. EV-A71 outbreaks have been associated with (sub)genogroup switches, sometimes accompanied by recombination events. Understanding EV-A71 population dynamics is therefore essential for understanding this emerging infection, and may provide pivotal information for vaccine development. Despite the public health burden of EV-A71, relatively few EV-A71 complete-genome sequences are available for analysis and from limited geographical localities. The availability of an efficient procedure for whole-genome sequencing would stimulate effort to generate more viral sequence data. Herein, we report for the first time the development of a next-generation sequencing based protocol for whole-genome sequencing of EV-A71 directly from clinical specimens. We were able to sequence viruses of subgenogroup C4 and B5, while RNA from culture materials of diverse EV-A71 subgenogroups belonging to both genogroup B and C was successfully amplified. The nature of intra-host genetic diversity was explored in 22 clinical samples, revealing 107 positions carrying minor variants (ranging from 0 to 15 variants per sample). Our analysis of EV-A71 strains sampled in 2013 showed that they all belonged to subgenogroup B5, representing the first report of this subgenogroup in Vietnam. In conclusion, we have successfully developed a high-throughput next-generation sequencing-based assay for whole-genome sequencing of EV-A71 from clinical samples.
A reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) detected Coconut cadang-cadang viroid (CCCVd) within 60 min at 60 °C in total nucleic acid extracted from oil palm leaves infected with CCCVd. Positive reactions showed colour change from orange to green in the reaction mix after the addition of fluorescent reagent, and a laddering pattern band on 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. Conventional RT-PCR with LAMP primers produced amplicons with a sequence identical to the 297-nt CCCVd oil palm variant with the primers being specific for CCCVd and not for other viroids such as PSTVd and CEVd. RT-LAMP was found to be rapid and specific for detecting oil palm CCCVd.
Enterovirus 71 (EV 71) is a causative agent of mild Hand Foot and Mouth Disease but is capable of causing severe complications in the CNS in young children. Reverse genetics technology is currently widely used to study the pathogenesis of the virus. The aim of this work was to determine and evaluate the factors which can contribute to infectivity of EV 71 RNA transcripts in vitro. Two strategies, overlapping RT-PCR and long distance RT-PCR, were employed to obtain the full-length genome cDNA clones of the virus. The length of the poly(A) tail and the presence of non-viral 3'-terminal sequences were studied in regard to their effects on infectivity of the in vitro RNA transcripts of EV 71 in cell culture. The data revealed that only cDNA clones obtained after long distance RT-PCR were infectious. No differences were observed in virus titres after transfection with in vitro RNA harbouring a poly(A) tail of 18 or 30 adenines in length, irrespective of the non-viral sequences at the 3'-terminus.
The performance of a commercial immunochromatography test for rapid detection of dengue NS1 antigen present in serum or plasma of patients was evaluated against a commercial dengue NS1 antigen-capture ELISA. The rapid immunochromatography test gave an overall sensitivity of 90.4% with a specificity of 99.5%. The sensitivity was highest for serum samples from which virus was isolated (96.3%) and lowest for those from which virus was not isolated and RT-PCR was negative (76.4%). The sensitivity was significantly higher for serum samples from patients with acute primary dengue (92.3%) than those from patients with acute secondary dengue (79.1%). The positive predictive value and negative predictive value of this commercial immunochromatography test were 99.6% and 87.9% respectively.