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Human antibody responses to hantavirus recombinant proteins & development of diagnostic methods
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Virology.
1996 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rodent-borne hantaviruses (family Bunyaviridae) cause two distinct human infections; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). HFRS is a common viral zoonosis, characterized by fever, renal dysfunction and hemostatic imbalance. Four HFRS-associated hantaviruses have been described: Hantaan virus and Seoul virus mainly found in Asia, Dobrava virus, encountered in the Balkan region and Puumala virus (PUU), causing mild HFRS (nephropathia epidemica; NE) in Europe. HPS, recently discovered in the Americas, involves adult respiratory distress syndrome with a high mortality rate and is caused by Sin Nombre virus. Hantaviruses are enveloped and carry a RNA genome which encodes a polymerase, two glycoproteins and a nucleocapsid protein. The latter elicits a strong humoral immune response in infected patients.

The clinical diagnosis of hantavirus infections has until recently relied on serological confirmation by immunofluorescense assay (IFA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using cell culture derived viral antigens. Due to the hazardous nature of hantaviruses and variable virus yield in cell culture we aimed at using recombinant hantavirus proteins for serological purposes.

We expressed PUU N in E. coli (PUU rN) and found that high levels of IgM to this protein could be detected at onset of NE. This indicated that it was useful as the sole antigen for serodiagnosis. Our finding was confirmed by comparing IFA and PUU rN ELISA using 618 sera collected at the regional diagnostic laboratory.

Full-length PUU rN is difficult to purify due to aggregation to E. coli remnants. We therefore located the important domain for the humoral immune response by utilizing truncated PUU rN proteins to its amino-terminal region (amino acid 7-94). Amino acid 1-117 of N of the five major human hantavirus pathogens were produced in E. coli. Serological assays based on them could detect IgM and IgG serum responses in 380 HFRS and HPS patients from Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, China, Korea and the USA with high sensitivity.

In an epidemiological investigation of hantavirus serum responses in European Russia we unexpectedly found antibody responses to the hantaviruses found in east Asia and the Balkan region in 1.5 %, speaking in favour for the presence of such virus in this region.

The degree of cross reactivity within the hantavirus genus was adressed by following the serum responses in NE patients. We found an increase of cross reactivity during the maturation of the immune response from onset of disease up to three years by comparing the IgG reactivity towards the hantavirus aminoterminal rN proteins.

The first human isolate of the causative agent of NE in Scandinavia was recovered in cell culture from phytohemagglutinin stimulated leukocytes. Serological analysis revealed that this virus belongs to the PUU hantavirus serotype, distinct from the rodent prototype PUU Sotkamo. The human PUU Umeå is unique but genetically similar to rodent isolates from northern Sweden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1996. , 82 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 482
Keyword [en]
Puumala virus, hantavirus infections, recombinant proteins, capsid, humoral immunity, immunoassay
National Category
Medical Biotechnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-141300ISBN: 91-7191-229-0 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-141300DiVA: diva2:1153128
Projects
digitalisering@umu.se
Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2017-11-07Bibliographically approved

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