[Source: Scientific Reports, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
High correlation between Zika virus NS1 antibodies and neutralizing antibodies in selected serum samples from normal healthy Thais
Wannapa Sornjai, Suwipa Ramphan, Nitwara Wikan, Prasert Auewarakul & Duncan R. Smith
Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article number: 13498 (2019)
Despite the widespread presence of the mosquito transmitted Zika virus (ZIKV) over much of Southeast Asia, the number of reported cases remains low. One possibility is that residents in Southeast Asia are immunologically protected, although the nature of any such protection remains unclear. This study sought to investigate the presence of antibodies directed to ZIKV NS1 protein in a selected sub-set of samples from a well characterized cohort of serum samples from normal, healthy Thais that had been previously characterized for the presence of neutralizing antibodies to ZIKV, DENV 1-4, and JEV. Because of similarities in molecular weight between the flavivirus E and NS1 proteins, an immunoblot system was established in which the NS1 antigen was not denatured, allowing detection of the dimer form of NS1, distinctly clear from the migration position of the E and NS1 monomer proteins. The results showed that antibodies to ZIKV NS1 protein were only detected in samples with ZIKV neutralizing antibodies (27/30 samples), and no sample (0/30) with a ZIKV plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT)90 < 20 showed evidence of anti-ZIKV NS1 antibodies. The high correlation between the presence of ZIKV NS1 antibodies and ZIKV PRNT suggests that immunological protection against ZIKV infection in Thailand arises from prior exposure to ZIKV, and not through cross neutralization.
Keywords: Zika Virus; Serology; Thailand.