Development of virus-specific anti-NS1 antibodies for use in neurotropic flavivirus NS1 antigen capture-based diagnostics. 01/11/2023 - 31/10/2024


Arthropod-borne flaviviruses represent an increasingly urgent threat even in Europe, where West Nile virus (WNV), Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), and Usutu virus (USUV) already co-circulate. Furthermore, human travel from endemic areas periodically introduces other flaviviruses, like the Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV). Distinguishing between these neurotropic flaviviruses is becoming crucial because an early and precise diagnosis of flavivirus infection can improve infection prevention and clinical management. The presence of the viral non-structural protein 1 (NS1) in the blood can be determined even before symptoms appear, which makes it a promising biomarker for developing an antigen capture-based assay. The lack of specific monoclonal antibodies against NS1 on the market is the main reason why NS1 diagnostic tests are not commercially available for JEV, WNV, TBEV, and USUV. I will produce and characterize a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for the NS1 protein of these viruses using a subtractive immunization strategy. The mAbs will be tested and validated for the development of diagnostic tests that allow the discriminating of the flavivirus responsible for the infection unequivocally. The development of novel diagnostic techniques that can significantly enhance the detection of flavivirus infection will be made possible by the manufacture of this unique pool of mAbs.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project