American Chemical Society
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Rapid Diagnostic Assay for Intact Influenza Virus Using a High Affinity Hemagglutinin Binding Protein

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-12, 00:00 authored by Caitlin E. Anderson, Carly A. Holstein, Eva-Maria Strauch, Steven Bennett, Aaron Chevalier, Jorgen Nelson, Elain Fu, David Baker, Paul Yager
Influenza is a ubiquitous and recurring infection that results in approximately 500 000 deaths globally each year. Commercially available rapid diagnostic tests are based upon detection of the influenza nucleoprotein, which are limited in that they are unable to differentiate by species and require an additional viral lysis step. Sample preprocessing can be minimized or eliminated by targeting the intact influenza virus, thereby reducing assay complexity and leveraging the large number of hemagglutinin proteins on the surface of each virus. Here, we report the development of a paper-based influenza assay that targets the hemagglutinin protein; the assay employs a combination of antibodies and novel computationally designed, recombinant affinity proteins as the capture and detection agents. This system leverages the customizability of recombinant protein design to target the conserved receptor-binding pocket of the hemagglutinin protein and to match the trimeric nature of hemagglutinin for improved avidity. Using this assay, we demonstrate the first instance of intact influenza virus detection using a combination of antibody and affinity proteins within a porous network. The recombinant head region binder based assays yield superior analytical sensitivity as compared to the antibody based assay, with lower limits of detection of 3.54 × 107 and 1.34 × 107 CEID50/mL for the mixed and all binder stacks, respectively. Not only does this work describe the development of a novel influenza assay, it also demonstrates the power of recombinant affinity proteins for use in rapid diagnostic assays.