A novel double-antigen sandwich ELISA for the species-independent detection of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus-specific antibodies
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne disease in humans caused by the CCHF virus (CCHFV). The detection of anti-CCHFV antibodies in animals is used to reveal infection risk areas. Therefore a simple, quick and reliable multispecies assay for the detection of CCHFV-specific antibodies is needed. This work presents the development and validation of a novel CCHF double-antigen ELISA for the detection of anti-CCHFV nucleoprotein antibodies. The test requires 30 μl of serum, and results are obtained within 90 min. As the ELISA is based on recombinant N-protein of the IbAr10200 virus, it can be run under standard biosafety conditions. For assay validation, sera from 95 cattle and 176 small ruminants from CCHF-endemic regions (origin: Albania, Cameroon, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Turkey) served as a positive reference serum panel. The CCHF antibody status of the positive reference samples had been previously confirmed by two serological assays (species-adapted VectorBest ELISA and Euroimmun IFA). CCHFV strains belonging to three different clades are known to circulate in the countries where the positive samples originated. Sera from 402 cattle and 804 small ruminants from Germany and France served as the negative serum panel, as both countries are considered outside of the CCHFV endemic zone. Sera from monkeys, camels, rats, ferrets, raccoon dogs, raccoons, foxes, hares, pigs and humans were also tested, to determine the suitability of this novel ELISA for these species. All negative reference sera were confirmed by the CCHF double-antigen ELISA, indicating a specificity of 100%. 268 of 271 positive reference sera tested positive for CCHFV-specific antibodies, 8sensitivity of 99%9. Further analysis are needed to ensure a recognition of the IbAr10200 nucleoprotein by antibodies directed against all known CCHFV clades. This is planned to be realized with sera from other regions covering the three missing clades.
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