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Development of in-house serological methods for diagnosis and surveillance of chikungunya.

Rev Panam Salud Publica; 41: e56, 2017 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28902269


To develop and evaluate serological methods for chikungunya diagnosis and research in Nicaragua.


Two IgM ELISA capture systems (MAC-ELISA) for diagnosis of acute chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections, and two Inhibition ELISA Methods (IEM) to measure total antibodies against CHIKV were developed using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and hyperimmune serum at the National Virology Laboratory of Nicaragua in 2014-2015. The sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, and agreement of the MAC-ELISAs were obtained by comparing the results of 198 samples (116 positive; 82 negative) with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's IgM ELISA (Atlanta, Georgia, United States; CDC-MAC-ELISA). For clinical evaluation of the four serological techniques, 260 paired acute and convalescent phase serum samples of suspected chikungunya cases were used.


All four assays were standardized by determining the optimal concentrations of the different reagents. Processing times were substantially reduced compared to the CDC-MAC-ELISA. For the MAC-ELISA systems, a sensitivity of 96.6% and 97.4%, and a specificity of 98.8% and 91.5% were obtained using mAb and hyperimmune serum, respectively, compared with the CDC method. Clinical evaluation of the four serological techniques versus the CDC real-time RT-PCR assay resulted in a sensitivity of 95.7% and a specificity of 88.8%-95.9%.


Two MAC-ELISA and two IEM systems were standardized, demonstrating very good quality for chikungunya diagnosis and research demands. This will achieve more efficient epidemiological surveillance in Nicaragua, the first country in Central America to produce its own reagents for serological diagnosis of CHIKV. The methods evaluated here can be applied in other countries and will contribute to sustainable diagnostic systems to combat the disease.