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Expression of the measles virus proteome by RAPID ELISA for serological assays

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Background: Measles virus (MV) infections are the main cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than 5 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated there are over 20 million

Background: Measles virus (MV) infections are the main cause of vaccine-preventable death in children younger than 5 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated there are over 20 million cases of measles every year. Currently, diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. These commercial assays measure reactivity against the immunodominant N antigen and can have a false negative rates of 20-30%. Centralized testing by clinical labs can delay rapid screening in an outbreak setting. This study aims to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic assay to detect IgG reactive to five individual MV proteins representing 85% of the measles proteome. Methods: MV genes were subcloned into pANT_cGST vector to generate C-terminal GST fusion proteins. Single MV cistrons were expressed using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) with human cell lysate. Expression of GST-tagged proteins was measured using a sandwich ELISA for GST expression using relative light units (RLUs) as readouts. Single MV antigens were used as bait to determine the IgG-dependent reactivity in 12 serum samples obtained from immunized animals with previously determined neutralization titer (NT) and the correlation between NT and ELISA reactivity was determined. Results: Protein expression of five measles genes of interest, M, N, F, H, and L, was measured. L exhibited the strongest protein expression with an average RLU value of 4.34 x 10^9. All proteins were expressed at least 50% greater than control (2.33 x 10^7 RLU). As expected, reactivity against the N was the highest, followed by reactivity against M, F, H and L. The best correlation with NT titer was reactivity against F (R^2 = 0.62). Conclusion: These data indicate that the expression of single MV genes M, N, F, H, and L are suitable antigens for serologic capture analysis of measles immunity.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Rapid point-of-care testing for measles immunity

Description

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading

cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps,

Measles is a contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that continues to be the leading

cause of death in children younger than the age of 5 years. While the introduction of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (MMR) has significantly decreased morbidity and mortality rates worldwide, vaccine coverage is highly variable across global regions. Current diagnostic methods rely on enzyme immunoassays (EIA) to detect IgM or IgG Abs in serum. Commercially available Diamedix Immunosimplicity® Measles IgG test kit has been shown to have 91.1% sensitivity and 93.8% specificity, with a positive predictive value of 88.7% and a negative predictive value of 90.9% on the basis of a PRN titer of 120. There is an increasing need for rapid screening for measles specific immunity in outbreak settings. This study aims to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic assay to detect IgG reactive to three individual measles virus (MeV) proteins.

Measles virus (MeV) genes were subcloned into the pJFT7_nGST vector to generate N- terminal GST fusion proteins. Single MeV cistrons were expressed using in vitro transcription/translation (IVTT) with human cell lysate. Expression of GST-tagged proteins was measured with mouse anti-GST mAb and sheep anti-mouse IgG. Relative light units (RLUs) as luminescence was measured. Antibodies to MeV antigens were measured in 40 serum samples from healthy subjects.

Protein expression of three MeV genes of interest was measured in comparison with vector control and statistical significance was determined using the Student’s t-test (p<0.05). N expressed at the highest level with an average RLU value of 3.01 x 109 (p<0.001) and all proteins were expressed at least 50% greater than vector control (4.56 x 106 RLU). 36/40 serum samples had IgG to N (Ag:GST ratio>1.21), F (Ag:GST ratio>1.92), or H (Ag:GST ratio> 1.23).

These data indicate that the in vitro expression of MeV antigens, N, F, and H, were markedly improved by subcloning into pJFT7_nGST vector to generate N-terminal GST fusion proteins. The expression of single MeV genes N, F and H, are suitable antigens for serologic capture analysis of measles-specific antibodies. These preliminary data can be used to design a more intensive study to explore the possibilities of using these MeV antigens as a diagnostic marker.

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Date Created
  • 2016