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Evaluation of Three Immunoglobulin M Antibody Capture Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assays for Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis

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  • 1 Japanese Encephalitis Project, PATH, Seattle, Washington; Department of Virology, United States Army Medical Component -Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand; Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Seattle, Washington
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Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus is a major cause of neurologic infection in Asia, but surveillance has been limited. Three JE immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits have recently been developed. The aim of this study was to evaluate their sensitivity, specificity, and usability using 360 acute-phase serum samples containing JE, dengue, or neither IgM antibody. The kits, manufactured by Panbio Limited, Inbios International, Inc., and XCyton Diagnostics Ltd, had high sensitivities of 89.3%, 99.2%, and 96.7%, respectively. The specificities were 99.2%, 56.1%, and 65.3%, respectively. When dengue IgM-positive samples were excluded, the kits had specificities of 98.4%, 96.1%, and 96.1%, respectively. The Panbio kit includes both JE and dengue antigens and appears to have an advantage in settings where dengue virus co-circulates, although further assessments in clinical settings are needed. This information is helpful in considering options for strengthening the laboratory component of JE surveillance.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Julie Jacobson, Japanese Encephalitis Project, PATH, 1455 NW Leary Way, Seattle, WA 98107, Telephone: +1 (206) 285-3500, Fax: +1 (206) 285-6619, E-mail: jeproject@path.org.
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