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Anal Chem. 2017 Dec 5;89(23):12743-12748. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b02862. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Aptamer-Based ELISA Assay for Highly Specific and Sensitive Detection of Zika NS1 Protein.

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Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology , 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, Singapore 138669.


We report here a few Zika NS1-binding ssDNA aptamers selected using the conventional SELEX protocol, and their application in an ELISA assay for sensitive diagnosis of Zika NS1 protein. Among the aptamers identified, aptamers 2 and 10 could recognize different binding epitopes of Zika NS1 protein. This complementary in binding site, when coupled with an extraordinarily high binding affinity by 2 (41-nt, KD = 45 pM) and high specificity by 10, was used successfully to construct an ELISA-based assay where 2 and 10 serve as the capture and detection agents, respectively, giving rise to a highly specific detection of Zika NS1 with a detection limit of 100 ng/mL in buffer. Further testing of a few in-house anti-Zika NS1 antibodies show that 2 could also pair with an anti-Zika NS1 antibody. Such aptamer-antibody pairing not only lowers the detection sensitivity by 3 orders of magnitude to 0.1 ng/mL in buffer but also enable highly sensitive detection of as low as 1 and 10 ng/mL of Zika NS1 to be carried out in 10% and 100% human serum, respectively. These results suggest that the selected aptamers would be useful for medical diagnosis of Zika virus infection in various aptamer-based diagnostic devices including ELISA assay.

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