Evaluation of fluorescence microsphere immunoassay for detection of antibodies to rift valley fever virus nucleocapsid protein and glycoproteins

I. K. Ragan, A. S. Davis, D. S. McVey, J. A. Richt, R. R. Rowland, W. C. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne, zoonotic virus that infects ruminants, including cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and buffalo. Multiplexing diagnostic assays that can simultaneously detect antibodies against multiple RVFV antigens offer a high-throughput test for disease surveillance and vaccine evaluations. We describe the improvement and evaluation of a previously developed fluorescence microsphere immunoassay (FMIA) for the detection of IgG and IgM antibodies against the RVFV glycoprotein (Gn) and the immunogenic nucleocapsid protein (Np). Well-characterized vaccinated and experimentally infected ruminant sera were used for the evaluation of the assay. Recombinant viral proteins were produced and then coupled to polystyrene magnetic beads for analysis using the Luminex MAGPIX system with xMAP technology. The FMIA was performed in parallel with virus neutralization tests. Our results revealed the highest median fluorescence intensity (MFI) values for the detection of IgG antibodies against RVFV Np, indicating that this antigen would be a good candidate for a screening assay. The Np and Gn targets could differentiate infected animals from animals vaccinated with a candidate subunit vaccine formulation based on the RVFV Gn and Gc proteins. The results presented in this report demonstrate that FMIA provides a rapid and robust serological diagnostic tool for the detection of antibodies against RVFV. The targets developed in this assay provide the basis for the development of a companion diagnostic test for an RVFV Gn/Gc subunit vaccine that is capable of differentiating infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA), as well as a multiplex serodiagnostic assay that can simultaneously screen for several ruminant diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Fluorescence microsphere immnoassay
  • Rift Valley fever virus
  • Serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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