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08 Apr 2015

Malik Peiris and co-workers develop a new pseudoviral particle neutralization assay against Ebola

Scientists of the Center of Influenza Research at HKU and the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin and the University of Tokyo have developed a safe assay that can detect neutralizing antibody to Ebola virus in a biosafety level-2 containment.

Ebola virus is currently causing an unprecedented outbreak in West Africa.Virus neutralization is considered to be the gold-standard serological assay for infections, but in the case of Ebola, this test requires culturing of live virus in a biosafety level-4 facility, which is available in very few centers. Because of these stringent requirements, options for clinical diagnosis or epidemiological studies of Ebola cases are limited.

For this reason, Malik and co-workers have generated pseudoviral particles utilizing a lentiviral vector carrying the glycoportein of Zaire ebolavirus detected in the current outbreak. A similar approach had been developed by the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole to conduct several studies of avian influenza and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infections (see the link).

The paper, “Pseudoparticle Neutralization Assay for Detecting Ebola Neutralizing Antibodies in Biosafety Level 2 Settings”, has been published in the journal Clinical Chemistry and is available here.