Diagnosis of Oropouche virus infection using a recombinant nucleocapsid protein-based enzyme immunoassay

M. F. Saeed, M. Nunes, P. F. Vasconcelos, A. P.A. Travassos Da Rosa, D. M. Watts, K. Russell, R. E. Shope, R. B. Tesh, A. D.T. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Oropouche (ORO) virus is an emerging infectious agent that has caused numerous outbreaks of an acute febrile (dengue-like) illness among humans in Brazil, Peru, and Panama. Diagnosis of ORO virus infection is based mainly on serology. Two different antigens, hamster serum antigen (HSA) and Vero cell lysate antigen (VCLA), are currently used in enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) in Brazil and Peru, respectively, to investigate the epidemiology of ORO virus infection. Both antigens involve use of infectious virus, and for this reason their use is restricted. Consequently, the frequency and distribution of ORO virus infection are largely unexplored in other countries of South America. This report describes the use of a bacterially expressed recombinant nucleocapsid (rN) protein of ORO virus in EIAs for the diagnosis of ORO virus infection. The data revealed that the purified rN protein is comparable to the authentic viral N protein in its antigenic characteristics and is highly sensitive and specific in EIAs. Among 183 serum samples tested, a high degree of concordance was found between rN protein-based EIA and HSA- and VCLA-based EIAs for the detection of both ORO virus-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies. The high sensitivity, specificity, and safety of the rN protein-based EIA make it a useful diagnostic technique that can be widely used to detect ORO virus infection in South America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2445-2452
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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