Respiratory syncytial virus detection in cells and clinical samples by using three new monoclonal antibodies

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Abstract

Acute respiratory infections caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are important health burdens that affect infants worldwide. RSV is also an important cause of morbidity and disease in adults, which causes enormous economic losses. At the present time, RSV infection is diagnosed by immunofluorescence, test pack and/or PCR, obtaining better results with PCR than with any other technique. The production of new monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of detecting RSV in clinical samples is necessary to generate better and faster diagnosis tools for RSV. In this study, three new mAbs, directed against the RSV N and M2-1 proteins, were evaluated for the detection of RSV in clinical samples. Nasopharyngeal swabs were obtained from: 27 RSV-positive patients; 15 human metapneumovirus (hMPV)-positive patients; and 6 healthy controls. To evaluate RSV presence in these samples, clinical samples and RSV-infected cells were tested by Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA), flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and dot-blot assays. Specificity and sensitivity were determined for each mAb by using purified RSV antigens and antigens from different viruses. Infected cells and clinical samples tested with the three new mAbs resulted positive by immunofluorescence, ELISA, flow cytometry, and dot blot. No false positives were obtained in samples infected with other respiratory virus (hMPV) or from healthy controls. These results suggest that these new anti-RSV mAbs can be considered for the rapid and reliable detection of RSV on infected cells and clinical specimens by multiple immunological approaches.

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