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J Virol Methods. 1995 Feb;51(2-3):201-10.

Immunodominant epitopes on the NS1 protein of MVE and KUN viruses serve as targets for a blocking ELISA to detect virus-specific antibodies in sentinel animal serum.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Nedlands.


Two mosquito-borne flaviviruses, Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) and Kunjin (KUN), are the aetiological agents of Australian encephalitis. MVE causes a severe and potentially fatal form of the disease while KUN is responsible for only a few relatively mild cases. Therefore it is important that serological tests used in flavivirus surveillance differentiate between infections with these two viruses. However, this has been hampered in the past by the close antigenic relationships between flaviviruses in traditional serological assays. An epitope blocking ELISA using MVE-specific and KUN-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) reacting to the non-structural protein NS1 of these viruses and a flavivirus group-specific mAb reacting to the envelope (E) protein was assessed for testing sentinel animals for seroconversion to specific flavivirus infections. Using these assays we were able to detect serum antibodies to a variety of flavivirus in laboratory infected rabbits, and naturally infected chickens and in the case of primary infections, differentiate those caused by KUN or MVE. These assays are now used routinely in our laboratory for testing chicken sera from sentinel flocks in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of north Western Australia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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