Broad-spectrum monoclonal antibodies against chikungunya virus structural proteins: Promising candidates for antibody-based rapid diagnostic test development.

PLoS One 2018 17;13(12):e0208851. Epub 2018 Dec 17.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.

In response to the aggressive global spread of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an accurate and accessible diagnostic tool is of high importance. CHIKV, an arthritogenic alphavirus, comprises three genotypes: East/Central/South African (ECSA), West African (WA), and Asian. A previous rapid immunochromatographic (IC) test detecting CHIKV E1 protein showed promising performance for detection of the ECSA genotype. Unfortunately, this kit exhibited lower capacity for detection of the Asian genotype, currently in circulation in the Americas, reflecting the low avidity of one of the monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in this IC kit for the E1 protein of the Asian-genotype because of a variant amino acid sequence. To address this shortcoming, we set out to generate a new panel of broad-spectrum mouse anti-CHIKV mAbs using hybridoma technology. We report here the successful generation of mouse anti-CHIKV mAbs targeting CHIKV E1 and capsid proteins. These mAbs possessed broad reactivity to all three CHIKV genotypes, while most of the mAbs lacked cross-reactivity towards Sindbis, dengue, and Zika viruses. Two of the mAbs also lacked cross-reactivity towards other alphaviruses, including O'nyong-nyong, Ross River, Mayaro, Western Equine Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis viruses. In addition, another two mAbs cross-reacted weakly only with most closely related O'nyong-nyong virus. Effective diagnosis is one of the keys to disease control but to date, no antibody-based rapid IC platform for CHIKV is commercially available. Thus, the application of the mAbs characterized here in the rapid diagnostic IC kit for CHIKV detection is expected to be of great value for clinical diagnosis and surveillance purposes.

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May 2019
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