Development of a neutralization assay for Nipah virus using pseudotype particles

J Virol Methods. 2009 Sep;160(1-2):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jviromet.2009.02.025. Epub 2009 Mar 9.


Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV) are zoonotic paramyxoviruses capable of causing severe disease in humans and animals. These viruses require biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) containment. Like other paramyxoviruses, the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) can be used to detect antibodies to the surface glycoproteins, fusion (F) and attachment (G), and PRNT titers give an indication of protective immunity. Unfortunately, for NiV and HeV, the PRNT must be performed in BSL-4 containment and takes several days to complete. Thus, we have developed a neutralization assay using VSV pseudotype particles expressing the F and G proteins of NiV (pVSV-NiV-F/G) as target antigens. This rapid assay, which can be performed at BSL-2, was evaluated using serum samples from outbreak investigations and more than 300 serum samples from an experimental NiV vaccination study in swine. The results of the neutralization assays with pVSV-NiV-F/G as antigen showed a good correlation with those of standard PRNT. Therefore, this new method has the potential to be a rapid and cost-effective diagnostic method, especially in locations that lack high containment facilities, and will provide a valuable tool for basic research and vaccine development.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Hendra Virus / immunology*
  • Henipavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Neutralization Tests / economics
  • Neutralization Tests / methods*
  • Nipah Virus / immunology*
  • Vesiculovirus / genetics
  • Viral Proteins
  • Virology / economics
  • Virology / methods*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Viral Proteins