Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a re-emerging mosquito-borne zoonotic flaviviral disease. Swine sero-convert 2-3 weeks before infection occurs in humans and thus serves as a suitable sentinel for JE surveillance and outbreak prediction in human population. The present study was conducted with the objective of developing a lateral flow assay (LFA) for detecting JEV antibodies in swine sera. Three different formats were tried using recombinant NS1 protein as antigen in order to select the best format. In format I, gold nanoparticles were conjugated with antigen followed by spotting of antigen on NCM as test line and anti-antigen IgG on NCM as control line. In format II, gold nanoparticles were conjugated with antigen followed by spotting of staphylococcal protein A as test line and anti-antigen IgG as control line. Format III used gold nanoparticles conjugated with goat anti-pig IgG followed by spotting of antigen as test line and pig IgG as control line. Amongst the three formats, format II was found to be superior with 100% relative diagnostic sensitivity and 100% relative diagnostic specificity during monsoon and post-monsoon period. A panel of 500 field swine serum samples was tested using format II which revealed sero-positivity of 15.6%, and the format was found suitable to screen swine serum samples during monsoon and post-monsoon period.
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