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Am J Clin Pathol. 2003 Apr;119(4):508-15.

Detection of IgG and IgM to West Nile virus. Development of an immunofluorescence assay.

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Associated Regional and University Pathologists (ARUP), Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


West Nile virus (WNV) had its first recorded appearance in the western hemisphere in 1999 and has continued to spread across the United States, necessitating the development of serologic procedures to diagnose infection. We developed an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) protocol for the detection of WNV-specific IgG and IgM antibodies in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens. We tested 82 serum and 16 CSF samples and compared the results with WNV IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and IgM antibody-capture (MAC) ELISA results. Agreement, clinical sensitivity, and clinical specificity for the IgG IFA were 92%, 100%, and 90%, respectively, and 98%, 96%, and 100% for the IgM IFA, respectively. Extensive arbovirus cross-reactions occurred in the IgG assays, but only minimal cross-reactions were observed in the IgM assays. The IFA protocol described herein is a cost-effective and sensitive alternative to ELISA and MAC-ELISA for the serologic diagnosis of WNV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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