Nonstructural protein 1 antibody-based epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to differentiate Japanese encephalitis virus from dengue virus infections in humans.Jpn J Infect Dis. 2011; 64(4):284-91.JJ
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and the four dengue viruses (DENV1-4) are co-distributed in Southeast and South Asia. Since JEV is antigenically cross-reactive with DENV1-4, the differentiation between these viruses using antibody assays may be difficult. Herein, we describe the development of an epitope-blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a monoclonal antibody specific for the nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) of JEV (JEV-NS1) to differentiate antibodies against JEV from those against DENV1-4. Hyperimmune mouse sera against JEV-NS1 showed >60% inhibition, whereas those against NS1 of DENV1-4 showed <30% inhibition. The present assay could therefore detect antibodies specific for JEV. For testing of human sera, a temporary cutoff value (30.8%) was calculated the average and standard deviation obtained for sera of control humans negative for JEV antibodies. Human sera positive for antibodies to any of DENV1-4 NS1 but negative for antibodies to JEV-NS1 showed a lower percentage inhibition than the cutoff value. On the other hand, sera with JEV-NS1 antibody levels of ≥0.400, as determined by the conventional ELISA (medially/strongly positive for JEV-NS1 antibodies), showed percentage inhibition greater than the cutoff. Although this blocking ELISA afforded false-negative results for most sera that were weakly positive for JEV-NS1 antibodies, it may be useful for investigating the seroepidemiology of JEV antibodies in dengue-endemic areas.