Monoclonal antibody-based antigen capture immunoassay for detection of circulating non-structural protein NS1: implications for early diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus infection.J Med Virol. 2011 Jun; 83(6):1063-70.JM
An early diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis (JE) is important for timely clinical management and epidemiological control in areas where multiple flaviviruses are endemic. The NS1 antigen has an advantage over IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for early confirmatory diagnosis of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection due to its proliferation on the surface of the host cells in the acute phase of infection. In this study, the development and evaluation of JE-specific NS1 antigen capture ELISA is described using high-affinity monoclonal antibody specific to the recombinant NS1 protein for early diagnosis of JE. The gene encoding NS1 protein was cloned and expressed in the pQE30UA expression vector followed by purification of the recombinant protein by affinity chromatography. A sandwich ELISA for antigen detection was developed using purified rabbit IgG antibody and mouse monoclonal antibody as the capture and detector antibody, respectively. The application of JE NS1 antigen ELISA for early diagnosis was evaluated with 120 acute phase sera and 80 CSF samples. The comparative evaluation of the JE NS1 antigen ELISA by real-time RT-PCR revealed 97% concordance with a sensitivity and specificity of 97% and 98%, respectively. The JE NS1 antigen was detectable in the blood from the first day up to day 9 after the onset of symptoms. These findings suggest that the JEV NS1 antigen capture ELISA may help early diagnosis of JE infection.