Evaluation of a novel vesicular stomatitis virus pseudotype-based assay for detection of neutralizing antibody responses to SARS-CoV

Shuetsu Fukushi, Tetsuya Mizutani, Masayuki Saijo, Ichiro Kurane, Fumihiro Taguchi, Masato Tashiro, Shigeru Morikawa
Journal of Medical Virology 2006, 78 (12): 1509-12
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is the causative agent of SARS. The S protein of SARS-CoV is a major target for neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) in infected patients. We developed a neutralization assay using a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) bearing SARS-CoV-S protein (VSV-SARS-St19). A total of 56 serum samples collected from 22 healthcare workers in the Hanoi French Hospital during the SARS epidemic in 2003 were evaluated and compared to the conventional neutralizing assay using infectious SARS-CoV. The results of the neutralization assay using VSV-SARS-St19 pseudotype showed good correlations with those using infectious SARS-CoV. The newly developed neutralization assay was more sensitive to low antibody titers in serum samples. Thus, the VSV-SARS-St19 is a useful tool for detecting Nabs against SARS-CoV.

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