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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2012 Nov;19(11):1853-8. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00492-12. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Development of monoclonal antibodies to West Nile virus and their application in immunohistochemistry.

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  • 1National Institute of Animal Health, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


West Nile virus (WNV) is endemic throughout Africa, Eurasia, America, and Australia and has important implications for avian, horse, and human health. In these regions, dead birds are monitored for the presence of WNV through immunohistochemistry (IHC) and PCR. However, a number of the tools for IHC are inadequate owing to their cross-reactivity to other Japanese encephalitis serogroup viruses. Here we have established eight monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to WNV. Four of them bound to the envelope protein, three of them bound to nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), and one bound to precursor membrane protein (prM), as shown by Western blot analysis. The anti-NS1 MAbs and the anti-prM MAb did not cross-react with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), Murray valley encephalitis virus, or St. Louis encephalitis virus in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. One NS1-specific MAb, SHW-32B1, and the previously reported NS1-specific MAb, SHW-7A11, were shown by IHC to specifically detect the cytoplasm of degenerated cells in the heart and brain of a WNV-infected goose. Neither of these MAbs were shown by IHC to cross-react with degenerated cells in the brain of a JEV-infected pig. These MAbs are the first reported anti-NS1 MAbs that can be used for WNV-specific IHC using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections. They may be useful for WNV research and surveillance.

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