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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2005 May;12(5):566-74.

Duplex microsphere-based immunoassay for detection of anti-West Nile virus and anti-St. Louis encephalitis virus immunoglobulin m antibodies.

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Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control/DVBID, P. O. Box 2087, Fort Collins, CO 80522, USA.


West Nile (WN) virus was introduced into the United States in 1999, when the first human cases of WN fever and encephalitis appeared in New York City. From there, the virus has spread throughout North America, in some areas cocirculating with the related flavivirus St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) virus. Public health laboratories currently use an immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA) as a primary test for human serodiagnosis, followed by a confirmatory plaque-reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The MAC-ELISAs take 2 days to perform; therefore there is a need for a more rapid test. This report describes a duplex microsphere-based immunoassay (MIA) that shortens the test processing time to about 4.5 h. The assay employs two sets of microspheres coupled to a single flavivirus group-reactive antibody, which are used to capture the WN and SLE viral antigens independently. Immunoglobulin G-depleted serum is concurrently assayed for IgM antibodies to each of the viral antigens. The results are standardized and classified by using quadratic discriminant analysis so that a single result, anti-WN IgM-positive, anti-SLE IgM-positive, negative, or nonspecific, can be determined. The duplex MIA results compared favorably to those of the plaque-reduction neutralization test and MAC-ELISA. The assay proved to be reproducible, produced accurate classifications as to the infecting virus, and was specific.

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