Human antibody titers to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) gp350 correlate with neutralization of infectivity better than antibody titers to EBV gp42 using a rapid flow cytometry-based EBV neutralization assay

Virology. 2009 Sep 1;391(2):249-56. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2009.06.013. Epub 2009 Jul 7.


Measurement of neutralizing antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is important for evaluation of candidate vaccines. The current neutralization assay is based on antibody inhibition of EBV transformation of B cells and requires 6 weeks to perform. We developed a rapid, quantitative flow cytometry assay and show that neutralizing antibody titers measured by the new assay strongly correlate with antibody titers in the standard transformation-based assay. Antibodies to EBV gp350 and gp42 have been shown to block infection of B cells by EBV. Using new assays to quantify antibodies to these glycoproteins, we show for the first time that human plasma contains high titers of antibody to gp42; these titers correlate with neutralization of EBV infectivity or transformation. Furthermore, we show that antibody titers to EBV gp350 correlate more strongly with neutralization than antibody titers to gp42. These assays should be useful in accessing antibody responses to candidate EBV vaccines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cell Line
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Neutralization Tests / methods
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Proteins / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • BZLF2 protein, Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • GP 300-350, Epstein-Barr virus
  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Proteins