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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55517. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055517. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Development of a sensitive and specific epitope-blocking ELISA for universal detection of antibodies to human enterovirus 71 strains.

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  • 1Animal Health Biotechnology, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore.



Human Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in young children. It is often associated with severe neurological diseases and mortalities in recent outbreaks across the Asia Pacific region. Currently, there is no efficient universal antibody test available to detect EV71 infections.


In the present study, an epitope-blocking ELISA was developed to detect specific antibodies to human EV71 viruses in human or animal sera. The assay relies on a novel monoclonal antibody (Mab 1C6) that specifically binds to capsid proteins in whole EV71 viruses without any cross reaction to any EV71 capsid protein expressed alone. The sensitivity and specificity of the epitope-blocking ELISA for EV71 was evaluated and compared to microneutralization using immunized animal sera to multiple virus genotypes of EV71 and coxsackieviruses. Further, 200 serum sample from human individuals who were potentially infected with EV71 viruses were tested in both the blocking ELISA and microneutralization. Results indicated that antibodies to EV71 were readily detected in immunized animals or human sera by the epitope blocking ELISA whereas specimens with antibodies to other enteroviruses yielded negative results. This assay is not only simpler to perform but also shows higher sensitivity and specificity as compared to microneutralization.


The epitope-blocking ELISA based on a unique Mab 1C6 provided highly sensitive and 100% specific detection of antibodies to human EV71 viruses in human sera.

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