Background: Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe viral illness caused by Ebola virus (EBOV). The 2013-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa is the largest recorded, with >11 000 deaths. Development of the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test (ReEBOV RDT) was expedited to provide a point-of-care test for suspected EVD cases.
Methods: Recombinant EBOV viral protein 40 antigen was used to derive polyclonal antibodies for RDT and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay development. ReEBOV RDT limits of detection (LOD), specificity, and interference were analytically validated on the basis of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance.
Results: The ReEBOV RDT specificity estimate was 95% for donor serum panels and 97% for donor whole-blood specimens. The RDT demonstrated sensitivity to 3 species of Ebolavirus (Zaire ebolavirus, Sudan ebolavirus, and Bundibugyo ebolavirus) associated with human disease, with no cross-reactivity by pathogens associated with non-EBOV febrile illness, including malaria parasites. Interference testing exhibited no reactivity by medications in common use. The LOD for antigen was 4.7 ng/test in serum and 9.4 ng/test in whole blood. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing of nonhuman primate samples determined the range to be equivalent to 3.0 × 105-9.0 × 108 genomes/mL.
Conclusions: The analytical validation presented here contributed to the ReEBOV RDT being the first antigen-based assay to receive FDA and World Health Organization emergency use authorization for this EVD outbreak, in February 2015.
Keywords: Ebola, point of care; diagnostic; lateral flow immunoassay.
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