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Development of dual-function ELISA for effective antigen and antibody detection against H7 avian influenza virus

Fang He1, Mookkan Prabakaran1, Yunrui Tan1, Kartigayen Indira1, Subaschandrabose Rajesh Kumar1 and Jimmy Kwang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Animal Health Biotechnology, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604, Singapore

2 Department of Microbiology Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

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BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:219  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-219

Published: 2 October 2013



Outbreaks in poultry involving influenza virus from H7 subtype have resulted in human infections, thus causing a major concern for public health, as well as for the poultry industry. Currently, no efficient rapid test is available for large-scale detection of either antigen or antibody of H7 avian influenza viruses.


In the present study, a dual function ELISA was developed for the effective detection of antigen and antibody against H7 AIVs. The test was established based on antigen-capture-ELISA and epitope blocking ELISA. The two Mabs 62 and 98 which were exploited in the assay were identified to recognize two conformational neutralizing epitopes on H7 HA1. Both of the epitopes exist in all of the human H7 strains, including the recent H7N9 strain from China and > 96.6% of avian H7 strains. The dual ELISA was able to detect all of the five H7 antigens tested without any cross reaction to other influenza subtypes. The antigen detection limit was less than 1 HA unit of H7. For antibody detection, the sensitivity and specificity of the dual ELISA was evaluated and compared to HI and microneutralization using immunized animal sera to different H7 strains and different subtypes of AIVs. Results indicated that antibodies to H7 were readily detected in immunized animal sera by the dual ELISA whereas specimens with antibodies to other AIVs yielded negative results.


This is the first dual-function ELISA reported for either antigen or antibody detection against H7 AIVs. The assay was highly sensitive and 100% specific in both functions rendering it effective for H7 diagnosis.

H7 AIV; Dual function ELISA; Surveillance in poultry