H5N1-SeroDetect EIA and Rapid Test: a Novel Differential Diagnostic Assay for Serodiagnosis of H5N1 Infections and Surveillance
Khurana S., Sasono P., Fox A., Van Kinh N., Mai LQ., Thai PQ., Hien NT., Liem NT., Horby P., Golding H.
ABSTRACT Continuing evolution of highly pathogenic (HP) H5N1 influenza viruses in wild birds with transmission to domestic poultry and humans poses a pandemic threat. There is an urgent need for a simple and rapid serological diagnostic assay which can differentiate between antibodies to seasonal and H5N1 strains and that could provide surveillance tools not dependent on virus isolation and nucleic acid technologies. Here we describe the establishment of H5N1 SeroDetect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and rapid test assays based on three peptides in HA2 (488-516), PB1-F2 (2-75), and M2e (2-24) that are highly conserved within H5N1 strains. These peptides were identified by antibody repertoire analyses of H5N1 influenza survivors in Vietnam using whole-genome-fragment phage display libraries (GFPDLs). To date, both platforms have demonstrated high levels of sensitivity and specificity in detecting H5N1 infections (clade 1 and clade 2.3.4) in Vietnamese patients as early as 7 days and up to several years postinfection. H5N1 virus-uninfected individuals in Vietnam and the United States, including subjects vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccines or with confirmed seasonal virus infections, did not react in the H5N1-SeroDetect assays. Moreover, sera from individuals vaccinated with H5N1 subunit vaccine with moderate anti-H5N1 neutralizing antibody titers did not react positively in the H5N1-SeroDetect ELISA or rapid test assays. The simple H5N1-SeroDetect ELISA and rapid tests could provide an important tool for large-scale surveillance for potential exposure to HP H5N1 strains in both humans and birds.