A Serological Point-of-Care Test for the Detection of IgG Antibodies against Ebola Virus in Human Survivors.
Brangel P., Sobarzo A., Parolo C., Miller BS., Howes PD., Gelkop S., Lutwama JJ., Dye JM., McKendry RA., Lobel L., Stevens MM.
Ebola virus disease causes widespread and highly fatal epidemics in human populations. Today, there is still great need for point-of-care tests for diagnosis, patient management and surveillance, both during and post outbreaks. We present a point-of-care test comprising an immunochromatographic strip and a smartphone reader, which detects and semiquantifies Ebola-specific antibodies in human survivors. We developed a Sudan virus glycoprotein monoplex platform and validated it using sera from 90 human survivors and 31 local noninfected controls. The performance of the glycoprotein monoplex was 100% sensitivity and 98% specificity compared to standard whole antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and it was validated with freshly collected patient samples in Uganda. Moreover, we constructed a multiplex test for simultaneous detection of antibodies against three recombinant Sudan virus proteins. A pilot study comprising 15 survivors and 5 noninfected controls demonstrated sensitivity and specificity of 100% compared to standard ELISA. Finally, we developed a second multiplex subtype assay for the identification of exposure to three related EVD species: Sudan virus, Bundibugyo virus and Ebola virus (formerly Zaire) using recombinant viral glycoprotein. This multiplex test could distinguish between the host's immunity to specific viral species and identify cross-reactive immunity. These developed serological platforms consisted of capture ligands with high specificity and sensitivity, in-house developed strips and a compatible smartphone application. These platforms enabled rapid and portable testing, data storage and sharing as well as geographical tagging of the tested individuals in Uganda. This platform holds great potential as a field tool for diagnosis, vaccine development, and therapeutic evaluation.