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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


FIGUEIREDO, L.T.M. et al. Expression of a hantavirus N protein and its efficacy as antigen in immune assays. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.7, pp.596-599. ISSN 1414-431X.

Hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) has been recognized as an important public heath problem. Five hantaviruses associated with HCPS are currently known in Brazil: Juquitiba, Araraquara, Laguna Negra-like, Castelo dos Sonhos, and Anajatuba viruses. The laboratory diagnosis of HCPS is routinely carried out by the detection of anti-hantavirus IgM and/or IgG antibodies. The present study describes the expression of the N protein of a hantavirus detected in the blood sample of an HCPS patient. The entire S segment of the virus was amplified and found to be 1858 nucleotides long, with an open reading frame of 1287 nucleotides that encodes a protein of 429 amino acids. The nucleotide sequence described here showed a high identity with the N protein gene of Araraquara virus. The entire N protein was expressed using the vector pET200D and the Escherichia coli BL21 strain. The expression of the recombinant protein was confirmed by the detection of a 52-kDa protein by Western blot using a pool of human sera obtained from HCPS patients, and by specific IgG detection in five serum samples of HCPS patients tested by ELISA. These results suggest that the recombinant N protein could be used as an antigen for the serological screening of hantavirus infection.

Keywords : Diagnosis; Hantavirus infection; Araraquara hantavirus; N protein.

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