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Concept: ELISA

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Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes species mosquitoes, and symptoms of infection can include rash, fever, arthralgia, and conjunctivitis (1).* Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe brain defects (2). Infection has also been associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome (3). In December 2015, Puerto Rico became the first U.S. jurisdiction to report local transmission of Zika virus, with the index patient reporting symptom onset on November 23, 2015 (4). This report provides an update to the epidemiology of and public health response to ongoing Zika virus transmission in Puerto Rico. During November 1, 2015-April 14, 2016, a total of 6,157 specimens from suspected Zika virus-infected patients were evaluated by the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDH) and CDC Dengue Branch (which is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico), and 683 (11%) had laboratory evidence of current or recent Zika virus infection by one or more tests: reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or immunoglobulin M (IgM) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Zika virus-infected patients resided in 50 (64%) of 78 municipalities in Puerto Rico. Median age was 34 years (range = 35 days-89 years). The most frequently reported signs and symptoms were rash (74%), myalgia (68%), headache (63%), fever (63%), and arthralgia (63%). There were 65 (10%) symptomatic pregnant women who tested positive by RT-PCR or IgM ELISA. A total of 17 (2%) patients required hospitalization, including 5 (1%) patients with suspected Guillain-Barré syndrome. One (<1%) patient died after developing severe thrombocytopenia. The public health response to the outbreak has included increased laboratory capacity to test for Zika virus infection (including blood donor screening), implementation of enhanced surveillance systems, and prevention activities focused on pregnant women. Vector control activities include indoor and outdoor residual spraying and reduction of mosquito breeding environments focused around pregnant women's homes. Residents of and travelers to Puerto Rico should continue to employ mosquito bite avoidance behaviors, take precautions to reduce the risk for sexual transmission (5), and seek medical care for any acute illness with rash or fever.

Concepts: Antibody, Epidemiology, Mosquito, ELISA, ELISPOT, Aedes, Dengue fever, Eva Engvall

242

A routine investigation by the New York City (NYC) Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) identified a nonpregnant woman in her twenties who reported she had engaged in a single event of condomless vaginal intercourse with a male partner the day she returned to NYC (day 0) from travel to an area with ongoing Zika virus transmission. She had headache and abdominal cramping while in the airport awaiting return to NYC. The following day (day 1) she developed fever, fatigue, a maculopapular rash, myalgia, arthralgia, back pain, swelling of the extremities, and numbness and tingling in her hands and feet. In addition, on day 1, the woman began menses that she described as heavier than usual. On day 3 she visited her primary care provider who obtained blood and urine specimens. Zika virus RNA was detected in both serum and urine by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) performed at the DOHMH Public Health Laboratory using a test based on an assay developed at CDC (1). The results of serum testing for anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody performed by the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center laboratory was negative using the CDC Zika IgM antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Zika MAC-ELISA) (2).

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Immunology, Influenza, ELISA, ELISPOT, New York City, New York

170

BACKGROUND: The anti-JC virus (JCV) antibody status has been introduced to stratify patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) for higher or lower risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential utility of anti-JCV antibody levels for earlier diagnosis or prediction of PML. METHODS: An analytically validated antibody assay was used to determine serological status, normalised optical density values, and dilution titres for anti-JCV antibodies. The method was applied to stored sera of 1157 patients with MS including five cases of PML, all enrolled in the Swedish pharmacovigilance study for natalizumab (NAT). Anticytomegalovirus (CMV) and antivaricella-zoster (VZV) antibody levels served as controls. RESULTS: Prior to treatment with NAT, anti-JCV antibody levels were stable in the anti-JCV positive patients. During therapy, a slight decrease in anti-JCV and anti-VZV antibody levels, but not anti-CMV antibody levels, was observed. All five patients who developed PML showed a mild to moderate increase in anti-JCV antibody levels at time of PML diagnosis; pre-PML samples suggested that this increase might start already prior to diagnosis of PML. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment initiation with NAT may lead to a slight decrease in anti-JCV and anti-VZV antibody levels, suggestive of a mild suppressive effect of NAT on antibody levels. Our findings in five cases of PML demonstrate that the onset of PML can be accompanied by increasing anti-JCV antibodies in serum. Monitoring of anti-JCV antibody levels could potentially be used as a tool for prediction or earlier diagnosis of PML during NAT treatment for MS. Further studies are warranted.

Concepts: Antibody, Density, Multiple sclerosis, ELISA, Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, JC virus, Serology, Natalizumab

170

The two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae is a damaging pest worldwide with a wide range of host plants and an extreme record of pesticide resistance. Recently, the complete T. urticae genome has been published and showed a proliferation of gene families associated with digestion and detoxification of plant secondary compounds which supports its polyphagous behaviour. To overcome spider mite adaptability a gene pyramiding approach has been developed by co-expressing two barley proteases inhibitors, the cystatin Icy6 and the trypsin inhibitor Itr1 genes in Arabidopsis plants by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The presence and expression of both transgenes was studied by conventional and quantitative real time RT-PCR assays and by indirect ELISA assays. The inhibitory activity of cystatin and trypsin inhibitor was in vitro analysed using specific substrates. Single and double transformants were used to assess the effects of spider mite infestation. Double transformed lines showed the lowest damaged leaf area in comparison to single transformants and non-transformed controls and different accumulation of H(2)O(2) as defence response in the leaf feeding site, detected by diaminobenzidine staining. Additionally, an impact on endogenous mite cathepsin B- and L-like activities was observed after feeding on Arabidopsis lines, which correlates with a significant increase in the mortality of mites fed on transformed plants. These effects were analysed in view of the expression levels of the target mite protease genes, C1A cysteine peptidase and S1 serine peptidase, identified in the four developmental mite stages (embryo, larvae, nymphs and adults) performed using the RNA-seq information available at the BOGAS T. urticae database. The potential of pyramiding different classes of plant protease inhibitors to prevent plant damage caused by mites as a new tool to prevent pest resistance and to improve pest control is discussed.

Concepts: Protease inhibitor, Gene, Gene expression, ELISA, Tetranychus urticae, Spider mite, Tetranychus, Acariformes

170

Considering importance of ganglioside antibodies as biomarkers in various immune-mediated neuropathies and neurological disorders, we developed a high throughput multiplexing tool for the assessment of gangliosides-specific antibodies based on Biolpex/Luminex platform. In this report, we demonstrate that the ganglioside high throughput multiplexing tool is robust, highly specific and demonstrating ∼100-fold higher concentration sensitivity for IgG detection than ELISA. In addition to the ganglioside-coated array, the high throughput multiplexing tool contains beads coated with influenza hemagglutinins derived from H1N1 A/Brisbane/59/07 and H1N1 A/California/07/09 strains. Influenza beads provided an added advantage of simultaneous detection of ganglioside- and influenza-specific antibodies, a capacity important for the assay of both infectious antigen-specific and autoimmune antibodies following vaccination or disease. Taken together, these results support the potential adoption of the ganglioside high throughput multiplexing tool for measuring ganglioside antibodies in various neuropathic and neurological disorders.

Concepts: Immune system, Medicine, Infectious disease, Infection, Immunology, Rheumatoid arthritis, ELISA, Pain

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BACKGROUND: Toxoplasma gondii infections during pregnancy can result in abortion or congenital defects. Prevalence and risk factors of toxoplasmosis in women of child-bearing age in Ethiopia are unknown. The current study was conducted with the objectives of estimating the seroprevalence and potential risk factors in acquiring T. gondii infection by women of child-bearing age in Central Ethiopia. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2011 to September 2011. Sera of 425 women were analyzed by indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A questionnaire survey was administered for all study participants to gather information on risk factors. RESULTS: The study revealed that anti- T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 81.4% of the samples of which 78.4% were positive for only IgG and 3.06% positive for both IgG and IgM antibodies. Seroprevalence of IgM antibodies to T. gondii (4.0%, 95% CI: 2.14, 5.86) was suggestive of recent infections. Of the 213 pregnant women 9 (4.2 %) were IgM reactive. Out of 17 potential risk factors investigated, univariate logistic regression showed significant association of T. gondii infection with study area, age, pregnancy status, raw vegetable consumption, source of water, presence of cats at home, contact with cats, HIV status and precaution during cats' feces cleaning (P <= 0.05). The final logistic regression model revealed that: the probability of acquiring T. gondii infection by women of Debre-Zeit was 4.46 times (95% CI of adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.67, 11.89; P =0.003) higher compared to women of Ambo, pregnant women were twice (95% CI aOR: 1.13, 3.59; P = 0.018) more likely to be seropositive than non-pregnant women and women who consume raw vegetable were at increased risk of infection (aOR = 2.21, 95% CI: 1.03, 4.78; P = 0.043) than women who didn't consume. CONCLUSION: The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in women of child-bearing age in Central Ethiopia is high. Study area, pregnancy and raw vegetable consumption are risk factors to acquire T. gondii infection. Educational program, antenatal screening of pregnant women and further epidemiological studies to uncover the economic and health impact of toxoplasmosis are suggested.

Concepts: Immune system, Pregnancy, Epidemiology, Apicomplexa, Immunology, ELISA, Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii

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A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on magnetic nanoparticles and biotin/streptavidin-HRP (MNP-bsELISA) was developed for rapid and sensitive detection of zearalenone (ZEN). The detection signal was enhanced and the sensitivity of the assay was improved by combined use of antibody-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles and biotin-streptavidin system. Under the optimized conditions, the regression equation for quantification of ZEN was y = -0.4287x + 0.3132 (R² = 0.9904). The working range was 0.07-2.41 ng/mL. The detection limit was 0.04 ng/mL and IC50 was 0.37 ng/mL. The recovery rates of intra-assay and inter-assay ranged from 92.8%-111.9% and 91.7%-114.5%, respectively, in spiked corn samples. Coefficients of variation were less than 10% in both cases. Parallel analysis of cereal and feed samples showed good correlation between MNP-bsELISA and liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (R² = 0.9283). We conclude that this method is suitable for rapid detection of zearalenone in cereal and feed samples in relevant laboratories.

Concepts: Nanoparticle, Nanotechnology, ELISA, ELISPOT, Assay, Immunoassay, Magnetic nanoparticles, Magnetic immunoassay

147

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of 15% alcohol dependence on ligature-induced alveolar bone loss and TNF- secretion in Wistar rats. Thirty-three male Wistar rats aged 45-60 days (mean weight=253 g) were randomly allocated test or control groups. Test group (n=18) received 15% alcohol as liquid intake and control group (n=15) received water during the experimental period. TNF-α was analyzed by ELISA assay in 11 animals per group. After 14 days of alcohol/water intake, alcohol dependency was assessed and silk ligatures were placed around the left second upper molars. Ligature presence and body weight were checked weekly. After 40 days, animals were sacrificed and the maxillae were defleshed for morphometric analysis using standardized images. All animals in the test group displayed signs of alcohol dependency at day 14. No statistically significant differences in final body weight (334.83±21.38 vs. 322.48±30.65 g, p=0.20) were observed between groups. In relation to alveolar bone loss, no statistically significant difference was observed among test and control groups both for ligated teeth (0.76±0.06 vs. 0.74±0.10 mm, p=0.60) and unligated teeth (0.41±0.16 vs. 0.35±0.05 mm, p=0.22). The TNF-α secretion also did not display statistically significant differences between test and control groups (10.78±1.84 vs. 12.13±2.11 pg/mL, p=0.12). It may be concluded that 15% alcohol dependency was not capable to alter alveolar bone loss and TNF-α secretion in Wistar rats.

Concepts: Controlling for a variable, Scientific control, Scientific method, Statistics, Statistical significance, Alcoholism, ELISA, Teeth

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CDC has updated its interim guidance for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure, to include the emerging data indicating that Zika virus RNA can be detected for prolonged periods in some pregnant women. To increase the proportion of pregnant women with Zika virus infection who receive a definitive diagnosis, CDC recommends expanding real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) testing. Possible exposures to Zika virus include travel to or residence in an area with active Zika virus transmission, or sex* with a partner who has traveled to or resides in an area with active Zika virus transmission without using condoms or other barrier methods to prevent infection.(†) Testing recommendations for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure who report clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease(§) (symptomatic pregnant women) are the same, regardless of their level of exposure (i.e., women with ongoing risk for possible exposure, including residence in or frequent travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, as well as women living in areas without Zika virus transmission who travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission, or have unprotected sex with a partner who traveled to or resides in an area with active Zika virus transmission). Symptomatic pregnant women who are evaluated <2 weeks after symptom onset should receive serum and urine Zika virus rRT-PCR testing. Symptomatic pregnant women who are evaluated 2-12 weeks after symptom onset should first receive a Zika virus immunoglobulin (IgM) antibody test; if the IgM antibody test result is positive or equivocal, serum and urine rRT-PCR testing should be performed. Testing recommendations for pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure who do not report clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease (asymptomatic pregnant women) differ based on the circumstances of possible exposure. For asymptomatic pregnant women who live in areas without active Zika virus transmission and who are evaluated <2 weeks after last possible exposure, rRT-PCR testing should be performed. If the rRT-PCR result is negative, a Zika virus IgM antibody test should be performed 2-12 weeks after the exposure. Asymptomatic pregnant women who do not live in an area with active Zika virus transmission, who are first evaluated 2-12 weeks after their last possible exposure should first receive a Zika virus IgM antibody test; if the IgM antibody test result is positive or equivocal, serum and urine rRT-PCR should be performed. Asymptomatic pregnant women with ongoing risk for exposure to Zika virus should receive Zika virus IgM antibody testing as part of routine obstetric care during the first and second trimesters; immediate rRT-PCR testing should be performed when IgM antibody test results are positive or equivocal. This guidance also provides updated recommendations for the clinical management of pregnant women with confirmed or possible Zika virus infection. These recommendations will be updated when additional data become available.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Health care, Childbirth, Immunology, Obstetrics, ELISA, ELISPOT

104

Background Although Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is typically self-limiting, other associated complications such as congenital birth defects and the Guillain-Barré syndrome are well described. There are no approved vaccines against ZIKV infection. Methods In this phase 1, open-label clinical trial, we evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of a synthetic, consensus DNA vaccine (GLS-5700) encoding the ZIKV premembrane and envelope proteins in two groups of 20 participants each. The participants received either 1 mg or 2 mg of vaccine intradermally, with each injection followed by electroporation (the use of a pulsed electric field to introduce the DNA sequence into cells) at baseline, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks. Results The median age of the participants was 38 years, and 60% were women; 78% were white, and 22% black; in addition, 30% were Hispanic. At the interim analysis at 14 weeks (i.e., after the third dose of vaccine), no serious adverse events were reported. Local reactions at the vaccination site (e.g., injection-site pain, redness, swelling, and itching) occurred in approximately 50% of the participants. After the third dose of vaccine, binding antibodies (as measured on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) were detected in all the participants, with geometric mean titers of 1642 and 2871 in recipients of 1 mg and 2 mg of vaccine, respectively. Neutralizing antibodies developed in 62% of the samples on Vero-cell assay. On neuronal-cell assay, there was 90% inhibition of ZIKV infection in 70% of the serum samples and 50% inhibition in 95% of the samples. The intraperitoneal injection of postvaccination serum protected 103 of 112 IFNAR knockout mice (bred with deletion of genes encoding interferon-α and interferon-β receptors) (92%) that were challenged with a lethal dose of ZIKV-PR209 strain; none of the mice receiving baseline serum survived the challenge. Survival was independent of the neutralization titer. Conclusions In this phase 1, open-label clinical trial, a DNA vaccine elicited anti-ZIKV immune responses. Further studies are needed to better evaluate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. (Funded by GeneOne Life Science and others; ZIKA-001 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02809443 .).

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, DNA, Clinical trial, Vaccine, Vaccination, Immunology, ELISA