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Detection of Antibodies against Sandfly Fever Virus by Immunoblot with a Recombinant Nucleocapsid Protein of Toscana Virus by Ernst-Juergen Finke, Heinrich Neubauer, Michael Putzker, Petra Emmerich, Gerhard Dobler, Herbert Schmitz, Lothar ZoeIler and Hermann Meyer

Detection of antibodies against sandfly fever virus in 236 sera was performed by using a commercially available immunoblot assay (IB), the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IIFA) and the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The IB is based on a recombinant 28 kDa nucleocapsid protein of sandfly fever Toscana virus (TOSV). In contrast, IIFA and PRNT were performed with TOSV, sandfly fever Naples (SFNV) and sandfly fever Sicilian (SFSV) virus. In the sera of 4 patients with confirmed TOSV infection (as determined by PRNT) antibodies were detected by IB and IIFA. No reaction was obtained in the IB with sera of 4 patients with confirmed SFSV infection or with reconvalescent sera of 6 patients infected by either Hantaan, Puumala, Rift Valtey fever or Dengue virus. Mouse hyperimmune sera raised against TOSV and SFNV did react with the TOSV nucleocapsid whereas those raised against sandfly fever Sicilian, Punta Toro, Candiru, Chagres, and Alenguer virus did not react. Nineteen of 236 tested sera (8.1%) were positive in the TOSV-IB and 11 (4.7%) in the TOSV- or SFNV-IIFA. A strong immunoblot reactivity of some sera which were negative by IIFA and PRNT may indicate the existence of other phleboviruses sharing common epitopes with sandfly fever Toscana virus.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 1999;45:23-28