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Diagnosis of human metapneumovirus by immunofluorescence staining with monoclonal antibodies in the North-East of England

Lookup NU author(s): Fiona Fenwick, Martin Robinson, Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Toms


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Background: Since its discovery in 2001 human metapneumovirus (hMPV) has been shown to be a significant cause of human respiratory disease, responsible for 5-8% of respiratory infections in hospitalised children. Diagnosis hitherto has been largely carried out by reverse tanscriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) but immunofluorescence staining of cells from nasopharyngeal secretions (IF) offers advantages for some laboratories and may produce a more rapid result in urgent cases. We have recently demonstrated that IF with a rabbit antiserum gave sensitivity equal to that of RT-PCR. However, monoclonal antibodies offer a more plentiful, uniform IF reagent. Objectives: Here we have evaluated a pool of anti-hMPV monoclonal antibodies in the routine diagnosis of respiratory infections in hospitalised infants and children. Study design: Eight hundred and fifty-seven routine respiratory specimens were tested by IF with rabbit polyclonal antiserum and monoclonal antibody pool in parallel. A further 1003 specimens were tested with the monoclonal antibody pool alone. All specimens were also tested for a panel of other respiratory viruses by IF. Results: Both rabbit polyclonal antiserum and monoclonal antibody pool gave positive results in 56 and negative results in 797 specimens. The rabbit polyclonal antibody detected virus in a further two specimens which were negative when tested with the monoclonal pool giving a concordance of 96.6% and a specificity of 100% for the monoclonal antibody pool. Overall hMPV was detected in 5% of specimens whilst 18.4% were positive for hRSV. Conclusions: The monoclonal antibody pool-based IF is a robust assay suitable for routine use with a sensitivity only slightly less than that of the other major diagnostic methodologies available. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fenwick F, Young B, McGuckin R, Robinson MJ, Taha Y, Taylor CE, Toms GL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Virology

Year: 2007

Volume: 40

Issue: 3

Pages: 193-196

ISSN (print): 1386-6532

ISSN (electronic): 1873-5967

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.07.018

PubMed id: 17869169


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