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Tetraplex Fluorescent Microbead-Based Immunoassay for the Serodiagnosis of Newcastle Disease Virus and Avian Influenza Viruses in Poultry Sera

Virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as well as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAIV) subtypes H5 and H7 induce contagious and lethal systemic disease in poultry. In contrast, low pathogenic AIV H5 and H7 may circulate clinically unnoticed in poultry but eventually generate HPAIV. Low pathogenic NDV strains are widely used as live-attenuated vaccines against ND. Serological tools are essential to conduct active surveillance for infections with notifiable AIV-H5, -H7 and to control vaccination against NDV and HPAIV in poultry populations. Here, recombinant nucleocapsid proteins (NP) of AIV and NDV, and haemagglutinin protein fragment-1 (HA1) of AIV subtypes H5 and H7 were expressed in E. coli. Purification and refolding were required before coating fluorescent microspheres via streptavidin-biotin linkage. The tetraplexed inhibition fluorescent microsphere immunoassay (iFMIA) was then assembled for analysis on a Luminex®-like platform (Bioplex®) using murine monoclonal antibodies specific for each of the four targets. The assay was evaluated by testing galliform poultry sera derived from experimental infections (n = 257) and from farms (n = 250), respectively. The tetraplex iFMIA compared favorably with commercially available ELISAs and the “gold standard” hemagglutination inhibition assay. Tetraplexed iFMIA provided a specific and sensitive tool to detect and discriminate AIV- and NDV-specific antibodies in the sera of galliform poultry.


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