Antibodies for the detection of Ebola virus infection
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal illness in humans caused by one of five different Ebola viruses. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%, with case fatality rates varying from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. No vaccine is currently licensed for preventing Ebola virus disease or other filovirus infections, thus early diagnosis and early supportive carecan help improve survival.
Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) at the point of care have the potential to increase access and acceptability of EVD testing and the speed of patient isolation. RDTs are also ideal for passive and active case finding, contact tracing, triage, cause-of-death investigations, proof of non-contagion, and post-epidemic surveillance. The current gold standard for EVD diagnosis are PCR-based assays, which can now be done in less than 4 hours, but still require human resources, equipment, facilities, and infrastructure typically unavailable in remote areas and at most point-of-care stations. Thus, there are needs for cheap, easy to use RDTs that are ideal for use at the point-of-care and in resource-poor settings. Lateral Flow Assays (LFAs) have been adapted for use as point-of-care diagnostic assays to aid EVD outbreak management by making EVD diagnosis simple and faster compared to PCR-based assays. However, LFAs have reduced sensitivity and specificity, resulting in increases in false-positive and false-negative results. Currently available LFAs have limited sensitivity and specificity compared to the standard PCR-based assays that are not ideal for use in resource poor point-of-care facilities or field stations.
The inventors have developed paired capture and detection antibodies specific for the Ebola virus protein that can be used in LFAs for EVD diagnosis.
- Superior sensitivity to the presence of Ebola virus compared to traditional PCR assays – allows early detection of Ebola virus
Use as part of a lateral flow diagnostic immunoassay means that the invention can help provide easy, rapid, cheap and accurate diagnosis of EVD