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Viruses 2019, 11(1), 82;

Establishment of an Alphavirus-Specific Neutralization Assay to Distinguish Infections with Different Members of the Semliki Forest Complex

Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Department of Virology, 63225 Langen, Germany
Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
Vitalant Research Institute, San Francisco, CA 94118-4417, USA
Institute of Virology, Medical Center—University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundaçăo Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21040-900, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 18 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Background: Alphaviruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors and can be found worldwide. Alphaviruses of the Semliki Forest complex such as chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Mayaro virus (MAYV) or Ross River virus (RRV) cause acute febrile illness and long-lasting arthralgia in humans, which cannot be clinically discriminated from a dengue virus or Zika virus infection. Alphaviruses utilize a diverse array of mosquito vectors for transmission and spread. For instance, adaptation of CHIKV to transmission by Aedes albopictus has increased its spread and resulted in large outbreaks in the Indian Ocean islands. For many alphaviruses commercial diagnostic tests are not available or show cross-reactivity among alphaviruses. Climate change and globalization will increase the spread of alphaviruses and monitoring of infections is necessary and requires virus-specific methods. Method: We established an alphavirus neutralization assay in a 384-well format by using pseudotyped lentiviral vectors. Results: MAYV-specific reactivity could be discriminated from CHIKV reactivity. Human plasma from blood donors infected with RRV could be clearly identified and did not cross-react with other alphaviruses. Conclusion: This safe and easy to use multiplex assay allows the discrimination of alphavirus-specific reactivity within a single assay and has potential for epidemiological surveillance. It might also be useful for the development of a pan-alphavirus vaccine. View Full-Text
Keywords: alphavirus; neutralization assay; lentiviral vector; pseudotyping alphavirus; neutralization assay; lentiviral vector; pseudotyping

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Henss, L.; Yue, C.; Kandler, J.; Faddy, H.M.; Simmons, G.; Panning, M.; Lewis-Ximenez, L.L.; Baylis, S.A.; Schnierle, B.S. Establishment of an Alphavirus-Specific Neutralization Assay to Distinguish Infections with Different Members of the Semliki Forest Complex. Viruses 2019, 11, 82.

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